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5-2-1-0 Plan for Healthy Holidays

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kids-health-nov22

Pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole, turkey and dressing, and cooler weather…the holiday season with parties, snacks and family gatherings is here. While this is a favorite time of year for many, it is often stressful with different places to be and events galore! In all the gather-ing and going, it can become easy to forget to take care of our bodies.

Aim to eat FIVE servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This helps to ensure that our body is getting nutrient-rich foods instead of just the empty snacks and sweet treats that seem to dominate this time of year. Sneaking those fruits and vegetables into the day does not have to be hard. Fruits can be added to a low-sugar cereal for breakfast. Raw veggies with a low-fat salad dressing dip or fruit with a low-fat yogurt dip can be a great addition to a snack or dinner buffet. Both can also be paired with peanut butter for a filling snack with a healthy protein. Being mindful of those fruits and vegetables throughout the day helps us to get the nutrition we need to feel great!

Try to keep recreational screen time to TWO hours a day or less. This includes video games, seasons of TV shows, and mindless hours spent staring at a phone or tablet. Some of that screen time can even be turned into a fun family night by watching a new or favorite movie together.

Set a goal to get ONE hour of physical activity every day. After a big holiday meal, go outside for a game of kickball or basketball. Have a contest to see which family member can hula-hoop the longest; sometimes the winner might surprise you! Turn up the music and dance when cleaning up or wash the car together for a fun family activity. The cooler weather provides a great opportunity to go to the park or take a walk together. The impor­tant thing is to get moving. Physical activity of some sort every day keeps those muscles moving and keeps your heart healthy.

ZERO is the tricky number. Try to drink more water and cut back on sugary drinks to almost none. This includes sodas, sweet tea, sports drinks, and even many fruit juice products. Water keeps us hydrated and is one of the best drinks to satisfy our thirst. Keep a water bottle available or a water pitcher in the fridge and have water as an option at parties. Fruit slices such as lemon and orange or even a splash of seltzer can be a fun addition to water!

Enjoy those favorite foods and meals together with friends and family. Take advantage of the cooler weather and keep the body moving while having some fun. Keep the water flowing to stay hydrated in the drier winter air. Treasure the time spent together, and don’t forget to make some memories along the way! 5-2-1-0 Go!


Dr. Joanna A. McKinley is a general pediatrician licensed by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.. She has been a pedia­trician at Dothan Pediatric Clinic since 2008.

Dothan Pediatric Healthcare Clinic
Author: Dothan Pediatric Healthcare Clinic

Dothan Pediatric Clinic is a state-of-the-art healthcare facility and medical home offering pediatric services for infants, children, and adolescents. Our staff is eager to help you and our child-friendly atmosphere is welcoming to children and parents alike. In addition to our board certified pediatricians and nurse practitioners, we also have an accredited state-of-the-art lab and lab personnel.

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Dothan Pediatric Healthcare Clinic

Dothan Pediatric Clinic is a state-of-the-art healthcare facility and medical home offering pediatric services for infants, children, and adolescents. Our staff is eager to help you and our child-friendly atmosphere is welcoming to children and parents alike. In addition to our board certified pediatricians and nurse practitioners, we also have an accredited state-of-the-art lab and lab personnel.

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5-2-1-0 Plan for Healthy Holidays

by Dothan Pediatric Healthcare Clinic time to read: 2 min