Food to Family: Your Game Plan for Healthy Holidays

The holidays are already at our doorstep and it feels like we just took down last year’s decorations. Whether you’ll be waiting on Santa for Christmas, lighting the menorah for Hannukah, preparing that hearty Kwanzaa feast, or any other celebration, see some helpful tips on how to plan ahead for a healthy, safe, and stress-free holiday.

Prep Safe Food

The CDC says that one in six Americans get a foodborne illness each year and 128,000 are hospitalized. When preparing the meal, remember the four Cs: cleaning, cooking, chilling, and cross-contamination to ensure that you’re not unsuspectingly contributing to food poisoning.

Safe food also extends to allergies, as up to 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies. A table full of food can be deadly for those who are unsuspecting, especially when it comes to children. So be sure to ask your guests beforehand if you should make any special arrangements. When cooking with dietary concerns in mind, be sure to clean all surfaces and utensils so that there’s no cross-contamination.

If you happen to have multiple people with allergies, consider setting up sections in your kitchen for easy food prep. When you’ve finished creating your feast, label each dish so guests know which food they’re able to dive into. And dive they will.

Decorate & Prepare in Advance

Decorations really help to usher in the holiday spirit. But beware – the CDC reports that 5,800 Americans are treated for injuries related to holiday decorating every year. Most happen when people are in a rush, so take your time and handle those beforehand!

You can also work wonders for reducing stress and potential accidents by preparing the meal as early as you can. Start making your grocery list a week in advance, and go grocery shopping a couple of days early. Then, prepare as much food as possible a day or two before the celebration. Take a look at some ideas for make-ahead holiday dishes that you can just pop in the oven or onto the stove the day-of.

Arrange Your Space

The morning of your holiday celebration, feel free to feng shui your home. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by creating space to easily move around in, and it’ll also help to avoid bumps, bruises, and
accidents that may send you or your guests to an urgent care clinic (while we love to help when you need us, we’d rather you were safe at home with your loved ones!). Tucking away some chairs, rearranging the living room or even a little decluttering will go a long way.

Avoid the Cold & Flu

With the colder weather inevitably comes the spread of harmful germs. Combine that with extra stress, poor eating habits, and a lack of sleep and it’s a recipe for an incapacitated immune system. See our blog on how to avoid getting a cold or flu for tips to keep sickness at bay.