As a mother, I would know! Especially with little ones, it can be incredibly easy for bugs to be passed around. And sometimes, prescription medication or other treatments can be expensive.
So, here are five preventative tips for keeping kids healthy on a budget:
1. Create a budget
Although this may seem self explanatory, but a budget is definitely necessary when trying to cut back. It allows you to take into account the food and health expenses that you think are costing you the most and figure out if there are any alternatives. This should help you to get a good idea of the context of your situation and as a result give you a bird’s eye view of where your finances are at so that you can evaluate them properly.
2. Meal plans
Aside from creating a budget (which is the first solution), it’s a good idea to go one step further and plan meals ahead of time. Making sure children eat the right nutrients is extremely important to supporting their immune systems. However, making healthy meals each night can be expensive, so a meal plan can prevent you from making spontaneous purchases that add up. Consider sitting down on the weekend or before your weekly shop and map out where you want your expenses to go, and for what meals. This will help you keep your pennies where they belong – in your pocket!
3. Shop in season
Fresh produce is something that is obviously quite seasonal, and as a result it is subject to price fluctuations. Purchasing fruit and vegetables that are in season could potentially save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Stick to what you know will be high in nutrients (as a rule, brightly coloured produce tends to be quite vitamin-rich) so that you’re giving your kids the most value possible.
4. Prevent rather than cure
This tends to be down to what suits you the most, but if you are concerned about your kids getting sick and aren’t sure what to do, it might be a good idea to consult with your doctor about vaccinations for children. Due to the general weak nature of kids’ immune systems, it can be a good idea to get them covered in this respect, especially when some things are so preventable. In terms of cost-effectiveness, many are government funded (such as chickenpox or diphtheria).
5. Consider an alternative
The family doctor is great as generally they know the history of your child and have some context whenever an appointment is needed. However, medical centres, if you’re looking to save money, tend to bulk bill a lot more. This means that Medicare should cover the cost of either some or all of your appointment, so you pay for far less. If you are in need of quick care and your GP is either too far away, can’t fit you in, or too expensive, this alternative route might work best.
6. And finally, exercise
Exercise – especially exercise for kids – is fairly cheap. In fact, it’s usually free. If you have the time, take them to a park, give them a ball, and let them use up all of their energy. This will not only make them fitter, but provide them with access to Vitamin D which should contribute to them getting a better sleep. Also, exposure to germs outside can help them boost their immune systems and make them more resistant with age.
Keeping kids healthy doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive! If you can maintain a fairly consistent routine of budgeting your meals and getting your little ones outside, you should be able to keep their immune systems as boosted as possible. Good luck!