Article by guest blogger, Bessie Hassan from Finder.com.au
Let’s face it, kids get sick a lot, and understandably so. They’re surrounded by other kids and adults all the time and their immune systems are still building resistance. Especially for younger kids who typically aren’t great with hygiene, it can be very easy for bugs and viruses to spread and as a parent, this isn’t ideal. Medical care can be expensive. Often it’s much more costly to help your child overcome an illness than it is to just prevent it. So here are six top tips for preventing illnesses and keeping your kids healthy on a budget.
1. Watch their diet
Making sure your kids eat the right foods is an extremely important part of encouraging healthy habits. Giving them meals full of veggies will help their immune systems fight off bugs. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive either. Purchasing fruit and vegetables that are in season will be far cheaper than selecting produce sporadically. For example, a punnet of raspberries can cost up to $10 in the off-peak season, but if you buy them during summer, they’re much cheaper.
2. Draw up a budget
Now this may seem self-explanatory, but evaluating your budget is the most useful step you can take in terms of watching your spending whilst also keeping your kids’ health in check. If you can take into account which aspects of your lifestyle are costing you the most (for example, spending too much on entertainment subscriptions or even takeaway food), you should be able to figure out where you can cut costs and put more money into your kids’ health.
3. Plan ahead
As well as helping you to stay on top of your finances, sitting down and planning your week ahead of time should give you a good overview of what you and your family will be eating in the coming days. Taking your budget into account, you should be able to assess what you can and can’t buy and what foods you should and shouldn’t be feeding to your kids. There are lots of healthy and easy meal options that are also cheap. Think fried rice, stir fries and pasta.
Because the immune system of a child tends to be far weaker than an adult’s, it’s pretty important that you protect them from potential serious illnesses before they strike. A lot of parents are deterred by cost of a vaccination, but you’d be surprised by how many children’s vaccinations are government funded.
5. Get covered
If your kids are accident-prone then it might be a good idea to think about taking out a comprehensive health insurance policy. Even something as straightforward as general dental maintenance can be costly over time and having the right insurance policy means that you’ll be covered for this and other medical expenses. Just make sure you get a policy that suits you and your family.
6. Head outdoors
Getting your kids to exercise is cheap (if not free in most cases). Whether you’re taking a walk to the park or kicking a ball around in your backyard, heading outdoors with your kids is an easy way to keep them fit whilst using up some of their energy at the same time. It’s win-win. If you have friends with kids in your neighbourhood, it’s also a great way to catch up. Invite them out, bring coffee and kill two birds with one stone.
Keeping your kids healthy on a budget isn’t really as difficult as it might seem. In fact, with just a few simple lifestyle changes, you can ensure that your kids get the most healthy upbringing that they can.
Bessie Hassan is a Money and Insurance Expert at finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison website.