The holiday season is upon us and with it brings the joy of family, food and fun. Holidays don’t necessarily have to mean taking a break from healthy lifestyles. First 5 Contra Costa, along with the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, offers the following tips on how to keep the holidays as healthy as they are happy.
Having healthy holidays begins by staying active, no matter what the circumstances.
- Spend quality time with family and friends by exercising together. Go with your family on a walk in the park or around the neighborhood. Make your walk festive by looking at holiday lights. If weather is a factor, try walking indoors at a shopping center or simply around your home.
- Make exercise fun with your kids by playing active games like freeze tag, leap frog and hide-and-seek.
- Limit time spent in front of the television (babies and toddlers should not watch any TV, preschoolers should not watch more than two hours daily).
Keep healthy food choices a top priority at holiday gatherings this year.
- Serve fruits, vegetables and nuts instead of chips and sweets.
- Help control the urge to overeat by offering small portions. Put food on small plates and limit the number of helpings served.
- Try substituting healthier ingredients for recipe ingredients high in fat or sugar. For example, mix in applesauce instead of oil for baking with less fat.
Encourage Holiday Safety:
While the holidays are most known for the fun they share, the season can also bring with it added dangers.
- Remove and dispose of all wrapping paper, bows, ribbons and bags immediately after unwrapping gifts. These materials can be a fire danger and a choking hazard for young children.
- Place all holiday decorations away from fireplaces, portable heaters and radiators. Also, make sure decorations do not block doorways.
- If buying toys for young children, be sure to check all tags and labels to make sure the toys are appropriate for the children’s ages. Young children can be injured by toys with small parts, toys that plug into electrical outlets or toys with long pull strings.
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