child healthy over the holidays

The holiday season is a time of joy, festivities, and indulgence. As families come together to celebrate, it’s essential to prioritize the health and well-being of our little ones. Keeping your child healthy over the holidays is not always the easiest. With an abundance of tempting treats and a break from regular routines, maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holidays certainly presents it’s challenges.

At HealthPark Pediatrics, our goal is to be a resourceful guide for our patients to stay healthy all year long, no matter the occasion. Therefore, with these seven tips, parents can ensure their children stay active, nourished, and happy throughout the festive season.

Ways to Keep Your Child Healthy Over the Holidays

1. Encourage Outdoor Activities: One of the best ways to keep kids healthy during the holidays is to encourage outdoor activities. Although it may not be very snowy in North Carolina, going for a hike, or a family bike ride can keep children physically active but also provide an opportunity for fresh air and Vitamin D exposure. As the weather drops, be sure to bundle up the little ones in warm layers to avoid a cold this time of year.

2. Plan Active Family Traditions: Incorporate physical activities into your family traditions. Instead of solely focusing on sedentary activities like movie marathons, consider engaging in active games or sports. Organize a family-friendly scavenger hunt, play winter-themed games, or take part in a local holiday fun run. By making physical activity a part of your holiday traditions, you’re instilling healthy habits that will last long after the decorations come down.

3. Create Healthy Holiday Treats: While indulging in holiday treats is a part of the festive spirit, it’s crucial to find a balance. Get creative in the kitchen by involving your kids in preparing healthier versions of holiday favorites. Bake cookies using whole grain flour, incorporate fruits into desserts, or create festive fruit skewers. Not only does this teach children about nutritious choices, but it also makes the holiday season a time of delicious, guilt-free enjoyment.

4. Stay Hydrated: With all the holiday excitement, it’s easy to forget the importance of staying hydrated. Ensure that your kids drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if they’re indulging in sugary treats. You can make hydration fun by infusing water with festive fruits like cranberries and oranges or allowing them to choose their own holiday-themed water bottles. Proper hydration supports overall health and helps prevent fatigue and overeating.

5. Maintain Regular Sleep Patterns: The holiday season often brings a break from regular routines, but it’s crucial to prioritize a consistent sleep schedule for children. Lack of sleep can negatively impact mood, attention, and overall well-being. Create a cozy bedtime routine that incorporates holiday-themed stories or calming activities to help your kids wind down. A well-rested child is better equipped to handle the excitement and energy demands of the holiday season.

6. Emphasize Hand Hygiene: It may be the holiday season, but it’s also a time of increased risk of illness. With increased gatherings and more travel, it’s essential to prioritize good hygiene practices. Emphasize the importance of handwashing, especially before meals and after spending time outdoors. Consider making handwashing a fun and festive activity by using holiday-themed soap or singing holiday songs while washing hands. By instilling good hygiene habits, you can reduce the risk of common winter illnesses and keep your kids healthy.

7. Remember to Relax: The holidays can be an emotionally charged time, and it’s important to address the mental health aspect of wellness. Foster open communication with your children, creating a safe space for them to express their feelings and concerns. Engage in activities that promote relaxation and mindfulness, such as holiday-themed crafts or family meditation sessions. Nurturing emotional well-being is a crucial component of overall health.

Get in Touch With Us

In conclusion, keeping kids healthy during the holidays involves a holistic approach that combines physical activity, nutritious choices, and emotional well-being. By incorporating these strategies into your family’s holiday traditions, you can create a festive season filled with joy, laughter, and good health. Ultimately, the goal is to build lasting habits that promote wellness not only during the holidays but throughout the entire year. If you’re looking to learn more about having a healthy holiday, or your little one does pick up a cold during the celebrations, contact us at 919.896.7066.