Tips to Achieve a Healthier Family – Healthy Eating on a Budget. Eating healthy can be an expensive proposition for one to take on, not to mention trying to get the entire family on board. The cost of living for healthy eating can be one of the largest deterrents and killers of any diet program. Most of us can't afford to eat purely organic produce and hormone free protein, so finding a more cost effective way to eat healthy is paramount.
The first thing you must do as it pertains to the overall health of your family is to get real with your current state of fitness. Each member of your family needs to take responsibility for their current fitness level and understand that there has to be a starting point. Take an overall assessment of your family as well as an individual assessment so you know where you stand.
A good place to start your family's health assessment is to calculate the BMI (Body Mass Index) of each member. BMI is used as a statistical analysis tool that determines whether an individual is underweight, normal weight, or overweight as it compares to an overall population. To find a BMI calculator or to learn more about body mass index, visit www.stayingfit.com.
Once you have a starting point for your family as a whole, you need to set realistic goals, invest in a fitness program, and create healthy eating habits, i.e. diet. A great guide and resource for creating a family fitness plan is called, "An Eight-Week Family Fitness Plan: To Reduce the Obesity Threat to your Family," by Walt Larimore, MD and Cheryl Flynt, MPH, RD. Visit drwalt.com/PDF/8-week-family-fitness-plan.pdf or www.supersizedkids.com for more info.
Developing healthy eating habits can be the biggest speed bump on the road to a healthier family unit, but don't let your budget stop you. You can skirt the high cost of most diets by simply planning ahead and make good choices when you're at the market. Below are a few quick tips to cutting the cost of healthy eating.
1) Learn to Cook: I understand that most people know how to cook to some degree. By cooking your own food you guarantee that you know what is going into your dishes. You also save tremendously on the cost of each meal. Cooking your meals at home allows you to properly proportion the meal and allows you to keep on track.
2) Learn to Shop: Shopping is the key to attaining healthy foods, but it can be a mine field of distractions and pitfalls. You need to learn to shop healthily and be smart. There are items that you think you must have that are high ticket products – this is fine, but make a list of these items and limit yourself to just one item on the list each time you go shopping.
3) Grown Your Own: Even if you don't live in the country, it is possible to grow your own produce. With a little research, some pots, and a little dirt, you can have fresh veggies growing on your patio or apartment deck. The savings are obvious and you will enjoy watching your produce grow from seedlings to a harvest-able product.
The bottom line is that eating well on a budget comes down to preparation and education. Learn to find the deals in your local market, and work with your family to cut costs and waist lines. For some other great tips and advice for a better you, go to www.choosemyplate.gov. For some great healthy recipes go to www.eatwell.com .