Healthy Holiday Checklist for Families

Amber and her two kids

We’re so grateful to Amber Battishill, of Mommy Gone Healthy, for partnering with us to share her winter checklist. Read her full blog here.

The holiday season is upon us—a time filled with laughter, joy, and quality time with loved ones. Amidst the festive cheer, it’s crucial to prioritize our health, especially in the midst of various gatherings, events and celebrations. As we gear up for this merry season, let’s ensure our wellness checklist is not only checked once, but twice. Let’s enjoy this holiday season happy & healthy with this guide to a healthy and safe holiday season.

Healthy Holiday Checklist:
Hand Hygiene Magic

Emphasize the importance of hand-washing to the entire family. Make it a habit to wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before meals and after being in public spaces. Ingrain those habits of washing your hands before every meal and when you walk in the door after errands or school. When on the go, keep hand sanitizer available to use frequently (we use it immediately once we get back into the car).

Vaccine Check-Up

Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider or local clinic to ensure everyone is up to date on their vaccinations. This includes routine vaccines and booster shots as recommended by health authorities. Don’t forget flu shots—especially important during the colder months! December 4th through 8th is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a reminder for everyone 6 months and older that there’s still time to get a flu vaccine this season!

Keeping vaccinations up to date is one of the most important and easiest way to protect against illness. The most recent data from MDHHS shows that only 66.1% of children aged 19 to 36 months have completed their recommended doses in the primary childhood vaccine series – the lowest rate Michigan has seen since 2020. This is leaving many children vulnerable to serious disease or illness as well as putting community immunity at risk (public health experts generally agree that a 70% vaccination rate is the minimum protection level desired).

Protecting my children and loved ones is my top priority. Staying up-to-date on routine vaccinations is one of the best ways to protect your family and community. Our family follows the CDC-recommended immunization schedule which protects teens and children from 16 vaccine-preventable diseases. This schedule has been carefully tested, studied and reviewed by medical experts and it’s been shown that vaccines are safe and effective at preventing disease and protecting communities from outbreaks. For more information about the safety, importance and efficacy of vaccines, check out iVaccinate.org.

Healthy Eating Habits

Amidst the decadent holiday feasts, maintain a balanced diet. While you can certainly indulge and enjoy seasonal treats, try to also incorporate nutritious meals filled with fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. Keep lots of nutritious snacks on hand (like cut fruit, veggies & dip, nuts, jerky) so you can fill up on nutrient-dense foods alongside holidays treats.

Stay Active, Stay Merry

Keep the family moving! Plan active outings or incorporate physical activities into holiday traditions. Whether it’s a post-dinner stroll, a friendly game of charades, sledding, hiking, or a dance-off to holiday tunes, staying active helps maintain both physical and mental wellness. Fresh air can be such a mood and energy booster too!

Mindful Moderation

Enjoy the holiday treats mindfully. Encourage portion control and savor each bite. Remember, it’s not about deprivation but about moderation and appreciating the flavors of the season.

Adequate Rest and Relaxation

Amidst the festivities, prioritize adequate sleep and relaxation. Establish a bedtime routine for the family to ensure everyone gets the rest they need for optimal health. Creating and sticking to a bedtime routine can be beneficial for a more restful and deep sleep which provides your body and mind time to heal, rest and feel it’s best.

Holiday Stress-Busters

Manage stress through relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation. Encourage open conversations within the family to address any concerns or stressors. Amidst the chaos, make sure to take time to decompress and unwind. Simplify and delegate when you can.

Prioritize Mental Health

Take care of mental health by fostering open communication and supporting each other. If needed, seek professional help or counseling services to navigate any holiday-related stress or emotional challenges.

Spread Cheer, Not Germs

Encourage the practice of good respiratory etiquette, such as covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow, to prevent the spread of germs. If you’re sick, stay home please! Everyone loves gifts, but no one wants the gift of germs this holiday season.

Remember, the holiday season is a time for celebration, gratitude, and above all, taking care of ourselves and those we cherish. By prioritizing your health and wellness, it allows everyone to embrace the holiday spirit while safeguarding our health and well-being. Wishing you a safe, healthy, and joy-filled holiday season!

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You’ve got questions. That’s a good thing.

As parents, determining how best to protect our children can be overwhelming and confusing. We’re here to help.

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About I Vaccinate

I Vaccinate provides information and tools based on real medical science and research to help Michigan parents protect their kids. Support is provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Franny Strong Foundation.

You’ve got questions. That’s a good thing.

As parents, determining how best to protect our children can be overwhelming and confusing. We’re here to help.

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