5 Affordable (or Free!) Winter Activities to Do With Kids

a family of four doing one of the suggested activities - sledding

Winter can be a challenging time to keep your kids entertained. If it’s too chilly outside, you might run out of things to do when you’re cooped up inside for days on end. The good news? You can do a ton of fun indoor and outdoor activities with your kids on a shoestring budget, or no budget at all. Here are five great ideas to try this winter season!

Go Outside and Build a Snowman

If it’s too chilly for a long walk, but there’s an inviting layer of puffy white snow outside, it’s the perfect weather to build a snowman. But, instead of going for the traditional two or three-ball snowman, you can make things extra fun by going for a snow princess or a snow warrior instead. You can use dress-up items for your snow creations that you already have at home. That way, this activity will not only be entertaining, but it also won’t cost a dime.

Game Night Is Always a Good Idea

The great thing about game nights is that they are perfect for any weather and any age group. This is one of the best activities to try when it’s cold and gloomy outside. Just pull up your kids’ favorite games and let the fun begin! Assembling puzzles is a fantastic idea as it’s both entertaining and educational for your kids. Plus, it’s a smart way to lure them away from electronic devices. Make some hot chocolate, take out the puzzles or Monopoly-like games (if your kids are old enough), and spend quality time with your loved ones.

Do the Pinnacle of Winter Activities — Sledding

Who doesn’t love sledding? Grab the sleds and hit the nearest hill! It’s guaranteed to be a day full of fun, snow, and joy. If you don’t already have sleds, you’ll need to make a small investment and buy them for your kids, but you’ll be able to use them for many winters to come. Alternatively, you can ask a neighbor to use theirs or see if there’s an option to rent sleds for the day. Just don’t forget to bring snacks and a thermos with hot chocolate or tea to keep everyone energized and hydrated throughout the day.

Cook Something Delicious Together

Cooking is probably one of the best activities to do with kids and it’s perfect for any season, but especially winter when we tend to spend more time at home. Prepping meals with your little ones isn’t just a fun way to spend the afternoon — research shows that kids develop many vital skills when they are involved in preparing food. Around the holidays, cooking with your kids is especially endearing — making Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, and other treats is simply the best. They can help you knead and roll the dough and cut out the cookies.

Teach Kids the Importance of Volunteering

Volunteering usually doesn’t cost anything but your time, and it’s a valuable way to teach your kids about the importance of giving back and helping your community. Winter is especially abundant in volunteering opportunities, so make sure to research what activities are happening near you and grab your kids along with you. It could be anything from toy and food drives to planting trees and cleaning the park.

3 Foods to Avoid to Protect the Body From Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to protect itself from infection and injury. But, when the body is chronically inflamed, people can suffer from different health complications. Eating the right foods or avoiding the wrong ones can affect the body’s inflammatory response, which can significantly improve one’s health.

Foods that could cause chronic inflammation

Certain types of foods are known to cause chronic inflammation. Removing them from diets can help you keep your body healthy and in shape. Here are three foods to avoid as they can trigger an inflammatory response.

1. Refined Sugar – The Forbidden Food

Refined Sugar

Refined sugar is among the primary suspects when it comes to unhealthy eating habits. Many physicians and dietitians blame sugar for sabotaging people’s health. Foods with high levels of refined sugar, as well as ingredients such as fructose corn syrup, can trigger disease-causing inflammation. Many studies have proven that diets with a high intake of sugar can lead to obesity, kidney disease, fatty liver, heart disease, and more.

2. Refined Vegetable Oil – Not All Oils Are Healthy

Refined Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oils are considered to be rich in omega-6 fat. When eaten out of balance with omega-3 and omega-9 fats, they can cause damaging inflammation linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), liver complications, obesity, and heart diseases. These types of oils are often used in packaged foods, meaning consumers must always check the labels for the presence of canola, soybean, or hydrogenated oils, as well as generic vegetable oils.

3. Processed Carbohydrates – Encourages Inflammation

Processed Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates aren’t inherently bad for the body, but processed carbs like pasta or white bread can trigger inflammatory processes. This is because refined carbohydrates have most of their fiber removed, which causes blood sugar to spike. Some researchers suggested that eating processed carbs can cause IBS, as well as other health issues.

Avoiding these three types of food is the first step toward living a better and healthier life where the body isn’t constantly under stress.