A Happy AND Healthy Holiday for All – Including Mother Nature

woman-preparing-christmas-table-6270Many of our field trips are focused on nutrition and building a healthy lifestyle through proper eating and exercise. Several sponsors are also concerned with the health of our planet and are taking actions to protect it, including teaching kids about the conservation and food waste efforts in their stores and around their communities. Be a steward of healthy living at home over the holidays by following these tips to make them happy and healthy for you, your family, and our planet.

  1. Continue to eat a balanced diet. All year round we try to fill half our plate with fruits and vegetables. The holiday season should be no different. Make sure you are eating food from all of the food groups – lean meats and other proteins, a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains.
  2. Limit holiday treats and eat more healthy snacks. Some fun ways to add more fruits and vegetables include making snowmen made with bananas, strawberries, grapes, and carrots or cheese Santas. Click for more healthy snack ideas
  3. Stay hydrated. You might feel hungrier when you aren’t properly hydrated causing you to reach for a second helping or another cookie when really a glass of water is what you need. Consider adding some lemon or lime slices or berry ice cubes to spice up your water.
  4. Get outside. A walk outside after a big meal can ward off that sluggish feeling. If the weather cooperates play some games outside – flag football, bocce – or go ice skating and sledding. Consider signing the family up for a holiday run or 5K race.
  5. Play inside. If you can’t get outside, play a game of charades, freeze dance using holiday songs, Simon Says, or did someone say limbo?
  6. Give sustainable gifts. Consider alternatives to toys that need batteries. Gifts that are made from natural products instead of plastic is better for the Earth. Recyclable items or those made locally reduce waste and emissions to ship products from far away. Something that we are passionate about, give a gift of an experience, a visit to a museum, an escape room, or any class for the holidays that doesn’t require any packaging!
  7. Skip the wrapping paper. Present gifts to family and friends in ways that don’t require paper gift wrap. You might use festive fabrics or scarves, old sheet music, maps, or newspaper.
  8. Decorate your home and community using energy-efficient LED lights, use a timer for lights so they aren’t on all night long, or choose fewer lights.
  9. Find local food sources for your holiday meals and parties. Compost unconsumed food and send everyone home with leftovers in sustainable food containers that are reusable or recyclable.

Consider emailing holiday cards. While it is nice to receive cards in the mail, paper and photo cards typically get discarded at the end of the season. Family and friends might enjoy an interactive holiday card and will appreciate your desire to “go green” for the holidays.

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