The hustle and bustle of the winter and the busy holiday season sometimes causes forgetfulness when it comes to maintaining healthy habits within the home. When there are cookies on the counter, your kids are going to prefer one of those delicious goodies over an apple or granola bar when snack time arrives.
Maintaining healthy eating habits in the midst of the holiday season can be difficult. Not only is money leaving your pocket left and right between holiday snacks and meals, decorations, and gifts, but grocery shopping becomes another expensive task that needs to be done all too often.
In order to both save money and maintain healthy eating habits for you and your family, be sure to prepare. Make a grocery list and stick to it. On the grocery list, be sure to include fresh and healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy snacking options for your kids. With heavy holiday meals, it is important to keep your kids’ diets healthy and balanced throughout the winter. Keep unhealthy treats to a minimum by making a scarce snack rather than a regular one.
To ensure healthy eating habits for your children during the winter, be sure to buy foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients. For example, research has found that maqui berries have the potential to combat conditions associated with inflammation, including heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and certain lung conditions. Introducing or continuing to feed your children foods like this, especially during the winter, will certainly help them now and for their futures. Additionally, foods like this will allow your children’s immune systems to fight off bugs this winter as well as compensate for limited time outside getting fresh air.
In addition to sticking to a grocery list, try to plan out your family’s meals so you are sure that you are providing healthy meals and snacks for your children as well as buying groceries accordingly. Also, only shop when necessary. Don’t find yourself going to the grocery four days a week because you keep forgetting something. You may find yourself leaving each time with more than you intended on buying. To avoid this, be thorough with your grocery shopping every week to week and a half. Be sure to grocery shop on a full stomach, and if possible, go shopping without your kids so they don’t end up convincing you to buy more than you want to spend or to buy unhealthy foods and snacks.
In addition to eating healthy, your kids should be getting exercise during the winter as often as possible. Between school, celebrations, holidays, and the cold weather, it can be difficult to find ways to keep moving. The cold weather often makes people want to curl up on the couch and watch a movie with a sugar-filled snack. While this is perfectly fine to do sometimes, getting exercise as well as getting fresh air outside is very important as well.
There are many activities to do outside in your very own snow-ridden yard that don’t require any money to be spent. Encourage your kids to build a snowman, make snow angels, pull each other on sleds, or build a snow fort. Give your kids ideas, and their imaginations can have them playing outside for hours.
Indoor activities such as Twister, dance parties, yoga, and Wii Fit are also ways to keep your children active on a budget during the winter. Kids would even enjoy playing dress-up and making a movie with your help. These kinds of activities keep your kids’ bodies moving and their imaginations soaring.
Maintaining Healthy Dental Practices
Another important aspect of your children’s health is dental care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19% of adolescents aged 2 to 19 have untreated dental care. With the money and care you have put into making sure your children have healthy teeth, you don’t want one winter to set it back. Additionally, if you have spent money to have your child be one of the 4 million Americans wearing braces, then you surely don’t want that money to go down the drain either. Between heavy meals and many sweet treats during the holiday season, being sure your kids are brushing, flossing, and wearing their retainer is more important than ever.
To ensure proper dental care throughout the winter, don’t let it slip through the cracks. Keep a daily routine in your home to ensure everyone is brushing and flossing, perhaps even at the same time. Set timers before bedtime to remember to put in retainers and mouth guards. Get your kids new toothbrushes at the beginning of every month, and perhaps buy fun ones to keep your children entertained. After a sugary treat, have everyone brush an extra time. It’s better safe than sorry when it comes to dental care because teeth problems can rack up expensive dental bills.
Maintaining healthy habits this winter doesn’t have to be an expensive ordeal. In fact, with careful planning and preparation, your children will have a wonderful holiday season with a healthy balance of food and fun all the while not breaking the bank.