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Things We Need to Teach our Children – Good Eating Habits

Good Eating Habits

I am always slightly appalled when I see people feeding small children McDonalds. We really should do better for our children.  I have a child that has survived more than two years now, never having tasted a McDonald’s anything.  I won’t lie and say my child has never eaten any sort of fast food.  There have been several occasions where he has eaten chicken strips or tenders from ChickFila or Sonic, but these events are few and far between.  I want my child to grow up liking to eat healthy foods and so I try my hardest to provide him with healthy food and to show him that I eat healthy in hopes that he will follow suit.

One thing about being a parent is that we try to model behaviors that we want our children to have.  When you want your children to eat healthy that means you end up eating healthier too! Our children learn about food mostly from us, so we need to take advantage of this and TEACH them about food.  Show them that you eat healthy food and they will follow suit!

To aid in teaching our children to eat healthier, we need to teach our children where their food comes from. Food doesn’t just magically appear in stores or in restaurants and children should be aware of this.   We need to teach them about where the plants and animals they eat come from.  If you have a green thumb or if you’ve always wanted to try. . . planting an edible garden, an herb garden or just a few tomato plants in a pot is an excellent way to teach them about where their food comes from.  If you children pick out and grow their own vegetables they are usually more willing to try new ones as they helped in the creation of them.  (Also, buying a bag full of ladybugs and releasing them into your garden is incredible fun.)  If you’re not so great at keeping plants alive or you can’t imagine adding one more daily activity to your already hectic schedule try driving your kids to the local farmers market, or to the actual farm once a month.  There are lots of farms where you can pick certain fruits and vegetables straight from the source during certain seasons.

After your kids know where their food comes from they need to learn how to prepare their food to eat.  We should teach our children to cook and eat whole foods and explain to them the difference between fresh meals and processed ones! If you don’t think you’re a good cook, it’s never too late to learn!  I learned how to really cook a few years shy of turning 30 and now I actually enjoy cooking (it’s the cleaning part I figured out I don’t like).   Start with simple recipes.  I have found that the best meals are always made from simple ingredients and a short list of ingredients at that.  There are so many great recipes out there.  Just pick a few and get started!  Baking  is another great way to get kids involved.  Baking with kids is always fun.  My little’s favorite thing to do in the kitchen is “mix, mix, mix, mix” and it is a great way to get really young kids involved in the kitchen!

If we teach our children about food from a young age and involve them in preparing and cooking their own food we are setting them up for a healthier way of life for the long haul.  We all want what’s best for our children, so help set them up for success and give them the food education they deserve.  You never know, you may just learn something in the process.

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Not Keeping up with the Joneses- Fashion on a Budget

My husband informed me a few months back that I needed some new clothes.  I absolutely dread clothes shopping and since we’ve been on the Dave Ramsey’s baby step’s plan I have had an excuse not to go clothes shopping.  Part of being on the paying down debt plan is training myself that if I can’t buy it at the grocery store (or the hardware store).  I probably don’t need it and for the past year (unless it’s been socks, underwear or something for an ever growing toddler) I haven’t felt as if I needed it.

My husband felt otherwise.  He felt some of my clothes were getting a little worn, and since I recently got a fairly large bonus at work he asked me to set aside some of the money and buy some new clothes.  So then the question becomes how do you look fashionable on a budget?  Even though I don’t like clothes shopping I tend to have expensive taste when I do go shopping.  I love the Gap, Express, Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Kenneth Cole, etc.  It’s been years since I’ve actually been into one of those stores, but I do remember the last time I bought jeans from Express (over five years ago) it was over $50 per pair.  Today, I cannot fathom spending $50 one ONE pair of jeans.  These days my thought process is more like, can I get this for $20 or less?

The truth is, you CAN get a nice pair of jeans with the fancy label for less than $20 a pair, you just have to be willing to put forth a little more effort than you might by just running into your favorite retail store.  There are many resale shops out there. You just have to find a few that meet your needs.

Style Encore is where I headed to physically try on some jeans.  Jeans tend to be the one thing I HAVE to put on my body to make sure they will fit.   Style Encore is a resale shop that sells gently used clothes with designer labels.   You would be amazed at the items you can find that look like they’ve never been worn.  It takes a little longer to leaf through the clothing in your size to maybe find what you’re looking for, and they aren’t always going to have what you are looking for but the price you pay is definitely a bargain compared to full retail price (even with sales and “bonus bucks”).  I will also throw in that I have scored some great deals at GoodWill.  When I was pregnant I got a load of maternity clothes for about $80 and I found a $20 bill in one of the pants pockets of the items I bought.

Thredup is my favorite online resale shop.  Since I hate shopping in stores I love that I can head to Thredup’s website, sort and filter what I’m looking for by size, color and type of clothes and it gives me pages of items to look at.  This is better than shopping at one particular store because there are so many different brands and styles.  If you’re hunting for  a long sleeve black sweater or a short sleeved purple top you don’t have to go to 8 different stores to find exactly what you are looking for.  I have found shipping to be fairly quick and returns to be fast and easy if you pick something that doesn’t end up agreeing with you.  Everything I have gotten has been in great condition and they always have several items listed that are new with tags for great prices.

Most online and retail resale shops also buy clothes so if you have anything in your closet you were putting in the Goodwill pile, check the labels first. You can bring these items to Style Encore or send them to Thredup for a tiny bit of cash or store credit.  It isn’t ever much, but it’s more than you would get from Goodwill which can further cut your final bill.

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