With the recent financial crisis, heightened unemployment and the increase in single parent families it I very difficult for families to afford their living costs. Financial pressures mean that we have less to spend on essentials like food. In this article it will be discussed, the various means that you can ensure that your children have a healthy diet that does not need to cost very much at all. We all want what is best for our children and to provide them with all they need. For growth, development and functioning children’s diets need to be rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and to be well balanced. Many parents facing financial difficulties opt for the cheaper, much less healthy processed foods. Another big risk to our population is the obesity crisis. It is so important that children learn good eating practices as they are more likely to carry them into their daily lives. Below will detail some tips and ideas of how to save money on food and to get kids into eating healthier.
For children who don’t like fruit/veg- It is a very common problem. Try to conceal and get extra veg into meals. Ideas such as pureeing veg into sauces, hiding veg in meals, making it look appealing- making faces out of chopped veg etc… Children respond to colour so make sure that there is plenty of colour on their plate via fresh veg and fruit. The natural colours of fruit and veg reflect each items nutritional value. One of the best ways to boost children’s nutrition cheaply is through making your own drinks. Smoothies made from pure fruit, yoghurt drinks and fresh milkshakes will provide the essential calcium plus many other key nutrients essential for their growth and development. Frozen fruit, older fruit and veg all great for this. Look out for reduced fruit and veg in your local food store.
Try tinned/frozen veg/fruit- Tends to be cheaper so ideal for those on a budget. Some tinned and frozen veg are actually tastier and nutritionally higher in value than fresh such as peas and sweet corn. Variety of tinned or frozen fruit and veg are available to buy. These items keep for a very long time, which lessens wastage and therefore better value. The pack sizes/quantities are often bigger meaning that the items go further.
Get them involved- Get them into the kitchen to help. An interest in food will mean that they are more likely to eat and try different foods. Important for them to be educated and it is also a great way to spend time with your children. If you have outside space, why not try growing your own fruit and veg? Children will love to get involved. If no garden why not grow herbs in pots or similar. It will get them interested in fruit and veg which are of course essential and excellent nutritionally.
Pool and bulk buy food shops- Why not get together with friends, family, other parents or members of the community and do your shop together. Combining shops means that you can take advantage of offers, bulk buy and spread the cost. This method means that you can get a greater variety and quantities of exactly what you need. For instance a family of 3 is not going to need a 1kg bag of onions but sharing the cost they can have ½ this. With regards to fitting in with getting better nutrition for your children, this will give you a bigger, wider choice and is more economic.
Highly nutritional choices in food can still occur when on a budget. Why not trying swapping breads, rice and pasta for wholemeal. These are widely available and now cost the same as the white varieties. Little changes can all make a big difference. Even such things as meal planning is a good idea. That way you can properly budget. Importantly it also gives you an ability to control how good nutritionally each of that weeks meals are.
With financial struggles so widespread it is important that you are receiving what you are entitled to. Parents are entitled to receive child benefit, simply call the child benefit phone number.