Enjoying a Healthy Lifestyle on a Budget: Wellness Tips for the Whole Family

Fitness tracking devices, Peloton bikes, and monthly gym memberships can all help families to lead healthier and more active lives, but there are other, more affordable ways to adopt a healthy lifestyle. From shopping seasonally to purchasing top-rated products, households can achieve their wellness goals on just about any budget — and save money on things like healthcare costs, meals, and life insurance premiums.

To name a few of the ways in which healthy living can help families save money over time, households could spend less on trips to the doctor, food delivery or takeout, and expensive life insurance rates. In fact, one study showed that the annual medical costs for US adults with
obesity were about $2,505 higher than for non-obese adults. Being overweight or obese could also mean paying higher life insurance premiums.

Below, Douglas Haddad explains how families can lead healthier lifestyles without spending a fortune on gym memberships, organic food, and home exercise equipment. Healthy living can certainly save families money over time, but they don’t have to invest much upfront to reap the benefits of eating well and staying physically fit.

Enjoy Physical Outdoor Activities

If your family is looking for ways to incorporate more physical activity and fresh air into each day, there are lots of different outdoor activities to enjoy on a budget. As a few examples, you could take daily walks in nature, locate splash pads in your area, go bike riding or roller skating, or challenge your kids to basketball games like HORSE or Around the World. Gardening also counts as exercise, and you could save money and eat healthier meals by growing your own food at home.

Shop Seasonally and Eat Less Meat

In addition to enjoying physical outdoor activities, shopping seasonally and eating more meatless meals can save you money while helping you to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Encourage your family to eat more asparagus, lettuce, and peas in the spring; grapes, peaches, and tomatoes in late summer; and warming vegetables like collard greens, rutabagas, and parsley in
the winter.

Along with eating seasonally, you’ll save money and reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease by consuming less meat each week. You don’t necessarily have to become a full-
time vegan or vegetarian, but going meatless just once or twice weekly could dramatically improve your family’s health.

Purchase Top-Rated Products for Your Home and Lifestyle

Quality products sometimes cost more upfront, but they can save your family money over time if you’re selective about the products you purchase. So before purchasing new products to support your family’s wellness goals — whether it’s a gadget for the kitchen or a piece of workout equipment — visit product review websites to research the items in question.

For example, maybe you and your partner want to buy a recumbent bike. By doing your homework before making a purchase, you’ll ensure you’re buying the highest quality products to help your family lead healthier lives. High-quality products tend to last longer than poorer quality items, saving your household money, time, and energy.

Consider Pursuing a Career in Wellness

As you learn about health and take steps to lead a more well-balanced life, you may develop a passion for wellness — and this passion could be used to earn some money on the side or start your own business. Look for some ways to turn your new passion for wellness into profit,
whether it’s launching an affiliate marketing blog, opening a yoga studio in your community, becoming a health coach, or selling workout clothing and sports gear online.

Easily Collect Payments from Clients

When monetizing your passion for wellness, it’s important to stay on top of your client invoices to ensure you’ll get paid quickly and accurately each time. Try using this free online invoice maker template so you can easily create customized invoices that clearly display your brand name, logo, and contact details. Customized invoices can be printed out and mailed to your clients or downloaded and shared via email, making it easy to bill your clients, get paid in less
time, and earn the money you need to support your household’s healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Living is Possible on Any Budget

Leading a healthy lifestyle may seem impossible when you’re on a tight budget, but it’s actually easier than you’d think to eat well and stay physically active. From monetizing your passion for health and fitness to purchasing top-rated wellness products that’ll last for years, these simple
strategies can help to promote good health while saving your family time and money in the long run. Nearly any household can adopt healthy habits, and doing so doesn’t have to cost a

– Article and Resources Contribution by Jason Kenner 

Work with Douglas personally! Are you looking to gain more clarity, balance, peace, joy, and happiness in your life, all while effectively and efficiently handling your current day-to-day state of affairs? I am currently open to new clients for one-on-one coaching sessions. Click here for more information on my personal coaching sessions. You can contact me directly to book a family coaching session at: [email protected] or view my books and courses online at doughaddad.com.

To healthy living on a tight budget!

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Resources for Parents for Every Stage of Child Development

Your Child’s Mental Health

Have your child’s emotions or behaviors changed recently? Has this change persisted for more than a week or so? Provided is a link to resources to help you detect the warning signs of mental health challenges. Included is a free, evidence-based assessment and report for children 2-12 that contains actionable tools to support your family’s wellness. With the amount of stressors that many families have experienced in the past few years, it’s more important now than ever to check in with your child’s mental health for the sake of your child and your family. The tips in the following link from Slumberkins can help:

Your Child’s Mental Health

Encourage Healthy Habits

Teaching kids to like vegetables, keep themselves healthy, and avoid too much screen time isn’t
easy. However, these tips can help.


Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (Bottle Rot)
Healthy Habits to Master in Your Baby’s First Two Years
Want Your Child to Eat (Almost) Everything? There Is a Way
The Top Three Snacks to Have in Your Kitchen
Personal Hygiene Habits to Teach Your Child

Make Learning Fun

The more engaged a child of any age is, the more they’ll retain when they’re learning or trying
new things.

Use the lessons and resources below to keep your children engaged and learning:

25 Activities for Reading and Writing Fun
Storm Spotting for Children: At-Home Meteorology
Calculus Games for Teens
10 Hands-On History and Geography Activities for Kids
Encourage Your Child by Going Back to School Yourself

Stick to a Routine at Every Age

Routines are instrumental in raising well-rounded and healthy kids. However, each stage requires new strategies for keeping to a routine that works.

How to Establish a Morning Routine for Kids That Actually Works
7 After-School Routine Ideas That Experts & Parents Swear By

Adapt to Keep Your Child Safe

Safety is every parent’s top priority. However, ensuring that your child is safe can mean something different at each age. From infancy through toddlerhood and beyond, here’s what you need to
know to avoid danger.

Child Safety: Keeping Your Home Safe for Your Baby
How to Give Your Kids Freedom in a Dangerous World
Teaching Children to Confront Bullying

There aren’t any shortcuts for raising confident, well-adjusted, healthy kids. Yet there are nuggets of valuable advice everywhere you look. Starting with these top tips can help you navigate the
challenges of each stage of development — and enjoy the adventure, too.

Resources Contribution by Jason Kenner and Slumberkins.com

Work with me personally! Are you looking to gain more clarity, balance, peace, joy, and happiness in your life, all while effectively and efficiently handling your current day-to-day state of affairs? I am currently open to new clients for one-on-one coaching sessions. Click here for more information on my personal coaching sessions. You can e-mail me at: [email protected]

To your social, emotional, mental and physical well-being!

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Photo via Rawpixel

How to Raise Kids With Social and Emotional Life Skills

There are many things children need to learn to succeed in school, work, and life. Taking care of themselves, running a household, and managing time and money are just a few of the life skills to teach kids before they leave the nest. Children also need social and emotional skills.

Social and emotional learning equips children with the self-awareness and interpersonal skills to set goals, handle challenges, and make good decisions.

I will share six ways that parents can teach social and emotional life skills to children of all ages:

1. Talk about feelings

Children with a rich emotional vocabulary are better at recognizing emotions in themselves and others. Parents can use the RULER method to build children’s emotional vocabulary starting in pre-K.

The RULER method teaches children to:

  • Recognize emotions based on physical cues.
  • Understand what caused the feelings.
  • Label how they’re feeling.
  • Express their emotions appropriately.
  • Regulate their emotions.

In addition to teaching children to recognize their own emotions, instill empathy by sharing personal stories about feelings and exploring the emotions of characters in stories and books.

2. Promote prosocial behavior

Prosocial behavior is when people do things that don’t directly benefit themselves like being polite, sharing with a friend, and helping others. Prosocial behavior is associated with better interpersonal relationships and a positive self-image.

Promote prosocial behavior by noticing and praising good behavior, reading books about friendships and relationships, and modeling prosocial behaviors by treating others and yourself with respect and kindness. Help children understand the why behind social rules by drawing the connection between good or bad behavior and social consequences.

3. Set future goals

Long-term goals show what can be accomplished through hard work and determination and teaches kids to consider their future in decision-making. Start talking about the future when children are young to inspire them to dream big. Big goals like going to college may seem overwhelming or too far away, but parents can teach kids how to break their long-term goals down into a step-by-step plan.

Modeling is one of the best ways to do this. Have you been thinking about a career change? Maybe you want to get a degree that lets you work from home or earn your master’s to boost your earning potential. Talk to kids about your goals and strategies that let you achieve them, like earning your degree online or applying for financial aid. Persevering despite obstacles sets an example that children are sure to remember.

4. Teach habit formation

Every parent knows the importance of building healthy habits like good hygiene, a balanced diet, and an active lifestyle early in life. Consistency and clear expectations provide the framework for a healthy lifestyle while modeling gives kids an example to follow. However, this doesn’t necessarily teach children how to form habits.

Teaching habit formation gives children the skills to form good habits and break bad ones into adulthood. Ask children to reflect on how habits influence their lives, connect habits to triggers, and develop strategies for replacing old habits with new ones. Some children may respond better to a rewards-based system while others need to eliminate triggers to avoid temptation.

5. Use natural and logical consequences

Natural and logical consequences build self-discipline by directly connecting children’s actions to their consequences. An example of a natural consequence is not having a clean shirt to wear because they didn’t put their clothes in the laundry. A logical consequence, on the other hand, is carried out by a caregiver — for example, cleaning up a mess they made or losing driving privileges after taking the car without permission. Take time to explain when implementing consequences so children take ownership of their decisions and learn how to make better choices in the future.

6. Encourage resilience

Resilience is one of the most important traits parents can instill in their children. Resilience is what lets kids accept consequences and bounce back from failure instead of giving up when things get difficult. Children develop resilience in environments where they feel safe to make mistakes and take risks instead of shying away from challenges. Parents raise resilient children when they praise effort over achievement, teach children to problem-solve, and foster a flexible mindset.

Resilience isn’t just about letting kids fail but rather teaching children to cope with their emotions, learn from mistakes, and keep moving forward. Parents also need to be mindful of how they talk about their own failures and frustrations. Do you dwell on the negative, or are you modeling a positive mindset for your kids?

Raising children who make good decisions involves more than setting rules and teaching healthy habits. For kids to take the lessons they learn in childhood into adulthood and beyond, they need the awareness and self-management skills to connect actions to outcomes.

Article Contribution by Joyce Wilson (www.teacherspark.org)

Work with me personally! Are you looking to gain more clarity, balance, peace, joy, and happiness in your life, all while effectively and efficiently handling your current day-to-day state of affairs? I am currently open to new clients for one-on-one coaching sessions. Click here for more information on my personal coaching sessions. You can e-mail me at: [email protected]

To your social, emotional, mental and physical well-being!

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Equip Our Kids


Kiddie Matters


Leading Turtle

Center for Responsive Schools

Osu Extension


Pandemic Friendly Ways to Spend Your Next Vacation

Amusement parks and popular tourist spots might have been your pre-pandemic destinations of choice, but with the pandemic still in effect (going on two years now) and many places experiencing infection rates again on the rise, planning a socially distanced vacation may in fact be the safer way to travel with your family. Many destinations let you socially distance yourself from other travelers while still enjoying new adventures. Consider how much risk you’re willing to take and plan your family vacation accordingly. The following tips presented can help you plan an exciting and healthy getaway.

Book a Remote Vacation Rental

Instead of staying at a busy resort, book a vacation rental where you have the entire house
to yourself. Choose a remote location, such as a cabin in the mountains or a farmhouse. In this case, you
won’t have to worry about passing anyone in the halls or sharing an elevator with others.

Go Camping

Camping lets you explore nature and spend most of your time outdoors, where you’re less
likely to be exposed to any of the strains of the corona virus, according to the CDC. Whether you prefer tenting or an RV, choose a less busy campground with large spaces to keep your distance from fellow
campers. Plan outdoor activities such as hiking, scavenger hunts, and skipping rocks.

Take Private Tours

Some attractions have limited capacity or timed entry, but you’re still sharing indoor space
with others. Consider booking private tours for various activities instead. You might book a
private dolphin cruise or fishing excursion for your family, which gives you the experience
without the exposure. If private experiences don’t fit your vacation budget, look for outdoor activities or less busy
attractions. You and your family might enjoy taking a city walking tour or visiting a botanical garden.

Plan a Staycation

If you’re not ready to travel, plan a fun staycation. Put your phones away and engage in
family activities such as:

  • Backyard camping. Set up a tent in your backyard. Roast marshmallows and hot dogs over the fire pit to complete the experience. If you’re not the outdoor type, camp in the living room.
  • Home spa. If you prefer pampering, set up a spa at home to enjoy facials, manicures, and other relaxing treatments.
  • Themed activities. Choose one of your favorite vacation destinations and plan food and activities around it. Recreate a seaside vacation at home with coconut drinks and beach ball games. Or, choose a favorite movie and plan games and dishes related to it.

Making some modifications to your house can make staycation outdoor activities safer and
more fun, such as fencing in your backyard. The cost varies significantly based on the
material, fence length, and location. Look up “fence installation near me,” and then contact
several local fencing contractors to get quotes based on your specific needs. Check the
credentials of each company including insurance coverage, licensing, and online reviews.

Tech to Take Along

No matter where your travels take you, packing tech makes your trip easier and safer. A
smartwatch for kids with parental controls helps you keep track of your little one with
built-in GPS. You can also upload medical ID information to have in case of an emergency.
Be sure to pack extra batteries and chargers to keep all your devices powered on the trip.

Get Away as a Family

School breaks can still be fun with pandemic-friendly vacation ideas such as a staycation,
booking a vacation rental, or going RVing or camping. Plan some private tours and take
your tech along for added convenience and safety.

Article Contribution by Joyce Wilson (www.teacherspark.org)

Work with me personally! Are you looking to gain more clarity, balance, peace, joy, and happiness in your life, all while effectively and efficiently handling your current day-to-day state of affairs? I am currently open to new clients for one-on-one coaching sessions. Click here for more information on my personal coaching sessions. You can e-mail me at: [email protected]

To your social, emotional, mental and physical well-being!


How To Plan Travel While Social Distancing

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10 Best Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Kids

How to Have a Spa Day at Home

Fence Installers

GizmoWatch Disney Edition kids smartwatch: 3 reasons why it could be a good choice

The Secrets to Raising Resilient, Empowered, & Happy Children

Kids these days are developing a whole new set of skills unlike any other generation in history. They are going to school (whether in person or online) in the midst of a pandemic and facing a new set of challenges that is forcing them to learn differently and develop skills to adapt to a new style of education and way of living.

Moreover, children here in the United States are growing up witnessing division among people of different political denominations and strife as it relates to injustice among people of different race, ethnicity, and gender/sexual orientation. Kids who spend time on social media see and hear a variety of blasphemous acts taking place against all kinds of people from all different backgrounds and institutions. The messages about fairness, kindness, and equality that we want to resonate with our children are being contradicted and contorted, which makes things very confusing for a young developing mind.

Children are easily influenced by their peers and what goes on in the media. As parents, we want to inculcate a sense of moral responsibility and sound character into our children. This is why it is important, as adults in our society, that we model the pillars of character that we so desire in our children, which include care, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, honesty, and respect for all people.

The reality, however, is that everyone is different and each person carries with them their past, present, and future and is entitled to their own opinion. Now, it is one thing to have a difference of opinion with others. However, it is another thing to be sucked into an alluring quagmire of gossip and controversy and develop a negative thought pattern against a person, group, and/or institution where we find ourselves becoming stuck, angry, resentful, and pessimistic. It is easy enough to become entangled in this way of living and become unaware of the insidious, negative implications this behavior poses on our lives and those we most care about.

In order to raise awareness about the importance of social and emotional intelligence, we need to start at the homes and in the schools in order to best equip our children with the necessary tools to think critically and accurately recognize fact from fiction so they can appropriately and effectively handle a variety of issues, conflicts, and adversity as they arise throughout their lives.

Building a child’s emotional well-being is about showing them strategies on how to remain calm, understanding, and peaceful, all while maintaining a positive attitude and preserving a strong sense of character and integrity. So how and where do we begin?


First off, we must remember that growing up is not a smooth and predictable ride for most kids. There are many factors that shape the development of a young person’s mind from childhood through adolescence. It can be hard, sometimes really hard for children, especially if they encounter adversity that requires them to make a decision to stand up for themselves and/or others, knowing it may not be the popular thing to do. They may find themselves part of a peer group that they really don’t want to be a part of and struggle to find a way out.

Growing up, I experienced and witnessed all kinds of bullying take place. I had choices to make as to whether I would join in on the action, or become a bystander and just sit on the sidelines, or rather step in and do something about it.

Being on the receiving end of verbal and physical abuse from my peers, while growing up, made it easy for me to decide which side of the fence I would take as I never wanted to see “the little guy” become a victim. But that is not always the case for all children who are bullied. Some resort to self-harming behaviors, while others become bullies themselves.

I will say that it would have been nice to have had someone in my corner when times got rough. Someone who I could count on when the bullies approached me and that I could trust to stand up for me. But that wasn’t my story.

The reality was that I needed to learn new skills that would help me develop resilience and become impervious to the verbal and physical attacks. I knew that when I stepped foot on the school bus each day, that I was on my own against “those kids” who were “looking to pick a fight.” I knew what it was like to battle in a war waged against me – time and time again – knowing that no one would come to my rescue when the confrontation began.

With that said, I also realize that there is a lot at stake for kids who stand up against bullying behavior. The child who makes the decision to support someone who is being picked on, bullied, or feeling outcast, is well aware that he/she may likely get backlash for it. These days, it’s not just physical or face-to-face verbal abuse that takes place. It’s also happening through text messaging, emails, and/or social media (a.k.a. cyberbullying).

I am so passionate about this topic, because I’ve seen how these defining moments in a young person’s life can shape their character and ultimately their course of life. In my opinion, the choices young people make in these moments largely defines their level of self-esteem and fulfillment they acquire throughout their life. I’ve written in more detail on this topic in a previous post “Teaching Children to Confront Bullying” where I offer helpful strategies on how children can stand up for themselves and others.

Research has shown that people who possess high self-esteem have no problem in empowering others and encouraging them to be their best. A leader with low self-esteem can often be controlling or even demonstrate micro-managing, oppressive behavior.

The message here for children is simple: When you see an injustice that is taking place in which you have the capability to do something about, the choice is yours and yours alone to act on. When something feels wrong and you know that it is negatively affecting someone or a group of people, it is important to act with courage and decide to DO SOMETHING.  

At the school I teach, we reinforce five qualities of good character: kindness, trustworthiness, respect, fairness, and responsibility. The good news is that children can learn all of these qualities from a very young age and practice implementing them in a safe space at home and apply them at school, and within the community on a regular basis.


There are three primary things that children desire and that is to feel loved, understood, and accepted. These are at the core of developing one’s self-esteem and confidence to make decisions and understand that the outcomes are largely due to choices they’ve independently made.

Also, self-esteem consists of two main things:

1. Self-worth (a feeling that you matter and that you are heard) and

2. Self-efficacy (the ability to accomplish a task/solve a problem by yourself).

The more you get your child involved in decision-making, the more they feel that they matter. This is called “sharing the power” with your child to make them feel empowered. You can start when they are very young by giving them a choice as to what they would like to do. Putting them in charge of a task helps them develop leadership skills. I do this all of the time with my toddler as she helps set the table for dinner, empty the dishwasher, take the clothes out of the dryer, and pick up her toys and clean her room. 

Another way to empower your child and facilitate a strong work ethic is if there are chores that need to be done, you can provide them with a list and ask them to select their top three choices. If they are little, you could have them choose between a couple of shirts and pants as to what they would like to wear. This is something my wife and I do with our toddler daughter and it makes her feel important and valued. Maybe once a week or every other week, you can offer your child a choice of a special meal or treat they would like and involve them in helping make it.

Another way to empower your child is to let them own their choices. With great power comes great responsibility (as Peter Parker once said) and the younger they are at learning this golden rule of life, the better it will serve them when the stakes are higher.

For instance, if they do not get a chore done by a time you have set for them, then the natural consequence is that they don’t get to engage in an activity that they would like to do. Let’s say they would like to play with a friend on Saturday and you’ve set a day and time for them to complete cleaning their room, yet by that time, it still hasn’t been done, then their natural consequence is that they they will not be able to go over their friend’s house until their room is clean.

Also, if homework assignment completion is an issue, or a grade isn’t to your standard, then privileges should be removed for a certain time frame. It is important to be upfront with your child in advance about this so they are well aware of your expectations (and consequences). This strategy works well with tweens and teens.


The real secret to stacking the deck in your favor in ultimately raising resilient, empowered, and happy kids is to embody all of the qualities mentioned in this article in yourself on a day-to-day basis.

As so you desire in your child, becometh in you. How we personally react to adversity, setbacks, challenges on a daily basis will be witnessed, evaluated, scrutinized, and ultimately modeled back by our children. Our perceptions and viewpoints about this world will, in large part, be translated into our children’s formative beliefs and values that will carry with them throughout their lives.

If you find yourself looking for more strategies on how to build resilient, empowered, and happy kids, you can check out my best-selling book, The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens. In the book, I discuss a variety of in depth and practical time-proven strategies to help you strengthen your connection with your children and empower them in the face of adversity throughout their lives.

Work with me personally! Are you looking to gain more clarity, balance, peace, joy, and happiness in your life, all while effectively and efficiently handling your current day-to-day state of affairs? I am currently open to new clients for one-on-one coaching sessions. Click here for more information on my personal coaching sessions. You can e-mail me at: [email protected]

To the resilient, empowered, and happy child in all of us!

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