Raising a child

How much will it cost to keep that “bundle of joy” fed and healthy?

It’s a well-known fact that those sweet baby babbles and cherished childhood hand prints come with a price tag, but have you ever really done the math?   In case you haven’t had a chance, don’t worry the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) annual report known as the Cost of Raising a Child was released today, and the math was done for you.

With an increase of 2.6 percent from 2011, a child born in 2012 can cost a middle-income family as much $241,080 from birth through high school.  The cost of raising that one child depends on a variety of factors including family income, family size, the age of that child, and in what region of the US the family resides.

Housing remains the number one expense, but food costs eat about 16 percent of a family’s budget depending again on household income and size. Regardless of the expense, a price can’t be but put on the value healthy eating.

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published promising data indicating a decline in obesity rates among American preschoolers, however, 12 percent of those preschoolers are still obese and close to one-third of our youth are at risk for preventable diseases including Type-2 Diabetes.

How can you reduce your costs, still eat healthy and reduce your children’s risk of obesity?

Additional resources from the USDA can be found at www.choosemyplate.com including a guide to healthy eating on a budget.

Want to know what you’re spending to raise your children?  Use the Cost of Raising a Child calculator and find out!