Build New Holiday Traditions This Season — Family Style!

Child holding holiday lights in a red and white sweater and a Santa hat

Common and beloved holiday traditions can include watching family movies, baking cookies and cozying up by the fireplace. These traditions are all fun, festive, and filled with special memories. However, the sky is the limit! This year, continue with your established family traditions as usual, but don’t be afraid to try something new. Consider adding traditions that support your family’s wellness and will help you reach your health goals.

Healthy Family Holiday Traditions

Find Ways to Move More

It may be colder outside, but finding ways to move more can boost your mood and give you more holiday cheer. We all know that the holidays can be stressful, but physical activity reduces stress and increases feel-good endorphins. Fit some time for movement in by planning active activities with your family that everyone will enjoy and benefit from.

  • Consider Outside Activity: Bundle up and try a fun activity outdoors. Take your crew ice skating and practice your balancing skills. Consider a morning or afternoon hike at a local park and experience the beauty of winter.
  • Find Ways to Move Indoors: Whip up an afternoon day of fun! Spend time bowling, jump at a trampoline park or go swimming in an indoor heated pool at the gym.
  • Make up Your Own Fun: Challenge your kids to an outdoor scavenger hunt using items from nature. Find candy canes instead of easter eggs or shoot some hoops in the driveway.

Step up Your Holiday Nutrition

The holidays don’t always have to be about candy and baked goods. Spread some healthy holiday cheer this year!

  • Instead of all cookies and treats, challenge your kids to make a creative and colorful fruit and veggie tray. Incorporate holiday fruits such as cranberries, oranges and pears. Don’t stop at the tray! Find recipes for low-calorie and/or high-protein holiday dips.
  • Encourage everyone to try a new healthy recipe. How often do you ask your kids what they would like for dinner? They may come up with some creative ideas that take the guesswork out of planning. Once they choose, set aside time to cook together. This can be a great time to teach them basic cooking skills and food ideas.
  • Teach balance this season. There will be holiday treats galore, but practicing moderation is a great skill. Not every sugar cookie or glazed donut is necessary. Ensure plenty of healthy meals and snacks are available for your family, but sprinkle some holiday treats in between.

Create Non-food Holiday Traditions

So many activities are centered around meals and treats, so look for ways to branch out and try new things with your family this season.

  • Instead of baking cookies, consider making cards for people in nursing homes or find a recipe for a holiday soap/scrub for your neighbors and friends.
  • Add a few holiday movies, concerts and tree lightings to your schedule.
  • Have a present-wrapping party and get all your gifts wrapped in one evening!
  • Find some down time. With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, making time to sit by the fire can do wonders for your health.

Enjoy the Holidays Your Way

Above all, celebrate this holiday season the way you want to. Don’t feel bad about lowering your expectations, and spend time doing what makes you and your family happy.

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