Let’s be honest, areas with a high amount of ‘child traffic’ are usually breeding grounds for common illnesses. Schools, preschools, public pools, and parks, are all full of germs that children pick up easily. All it takes is one common cold to wipe out an entire cohort.
As a parent it can be tough trying to keep your children away from these risky environments, and medical care can be expensive. So here are 6 top tips for keeping kids healthy on a budget:
1. Draw up an allowance
Creating a budget or an allowance to put towards child expenses is always a good idea. There can be many costly items that crop up unexpectedly so it’s important that you closely monitor your expenses each month. In terms of budgeting for your child’s health, set aside a certain amount of money regularly for fees such as doctors’ appointments or prescription medications. This will save you the stress of dipping into your savings when an emergency arises.
2. Watch their diet
Fruit and vegetables can be expensive but they are a very important part of keeping your children’s diets nutritionally balanced. Feeding them nutrient-rich meals packed with antioxidants will help their immune systems fight off whatever bugs come their way. But there are smart ways to do this, for example, buying seasonal produce. Fruit, such as raspberries and blueberries, can be extremely expensive when it’s not the peak time of year. You’ll notice that around spring and summer the prices tend to drop on certain fruits because that’s when they’re more abundant. The same goes for most products that are grown in the ground. Buy the veggies that are in season, and you’ll save yourself stacks of money in the long run.
3. Map out meals
Planning meals ahead of time is one way to keep across what your kids eat. If you map out your meals on a weekend for the week ahead, you’ll be able to tally up costs and see where you can make sacrifices or switch products for alternatives that cost less. Taking your budget into account, you should be able to recognise which products you can buy in bulk. A lot of healthy meals don’t tend to be very expensive (such as a stir fry or casserole) when you cook in large batches.
This is definitely something that is down to parental preference but you can prevent many diseases for free by getting your kids immunised against them and most vaccinations are government funded for kids under a certain age. The immune system of a child is usually a bit weaker than an adult’s so it’s a good idea to look into this because a) it’s usually free and b) can prevent a huge range of nasty illnesses such as whooping cough or influenza.
5. Cover your kids
Investing in health insurance can be a money saver in the long run, especially if your children happen to be prone to illnesses or accidents. Health insurance policies for families tend to be the best option when you have kids, as you can cover everyone under the same policy and receive the most benefits at once. It also means that if you all happen to get sick and are wiped out by the same illness, you should be covered for many of the treatments available. Even the simpler things such as physiotherapy or dental cover can help you later on.
6. Get them out and about!
Exercise is one of the best possible ways to not only keep children healthy and maintain their weight, but also to boost and regulate their metabolisms and endorphins. If kids have been kept inside for too long, they can get a little manic so the endorphins help them to be calmer and happier, as well as getting their blood pumping. Worth it!
Budgeting and keeping kids healthy at the same time doesn’t have to be scary. With just a few simple lifestyle changes, you can ensure your kids get a healthy upbringing, without breaking the bank. Enjoy!