Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life
What's for dinner?
Are your kids eating right?

What's For Dinner?
Are your kids eating right?
As part of US Government A,B,C's for good health

Family Finance 101
All about allowances

Did You Know?

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As part of the U.S. Government’s A, B, C’s

for good health:

A: Aim for fitness

B: Build a healthy base

C: Choose sensibly

The USDA recently released an updated version of the food guide pyramid with recommendations for children ages two to six years. You can download the pyramid from and display it on your refrigerator. It can help you teach your children about making good food choices now.

In general, the USDA recommends:

(click the poster to download an 8.5 x 11" PDF version)

Family Finance 101
All about allowances

For many parents, the question of allowances for their children is a bit murky. Most agree that children should have some spending money of their own, however the subject often raises many questions. At what age should a child receive an allowance? How much? And, should the allowance be tied to chores or other duties?

For answers, parents can look to the web. At, they can find a collection of articles from a wide range of experts—including Dr. Spock!—that will help them decide what approach is right for their family. Each article offers different suggestions, but all agree that giving an allowance:


is a good way to teach kids how to manage their finances at an early age


teaches children to think about how much things cost


is a tool for learning how to save and make good spending choices


helps kids learn to appreciate the value of things—kids are more likely to take better care of items they buy with their own money.

As with all of life’s lessons, experience is the best teacher. Giving a child an allowance makes it possible for him or her to make financial mistakes—and learn from them—while the stakes are relatively small.

Did You Know?

Using data from the 1990-92 Consumer Expenditure Survey, updated to 1999 dollars using the Consumer Price Index, the USDA estimates that it costs the average middle-income two-parent family between $8,450 and $9,530 a year to raise one child. This information can be useful to you when making insurance planning decisions. If you have not reviewed your coverage lately, now is a good time—especially if you have had children since your policy was issued.

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