Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) offers tips for a healthy holiday season that include receiving the flu immunization, enjoying festive treats in moderation and making healthy choices.

“We want to help you have a wonderful holiday season,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “Try incorporating our tips into your holiday habits. These simple changes can add up to a healthier and happier holiday season for you and your family.”

• Choose wisely. Indulge in festive treats without packing on the pounds. Enjoy holiday food in moderation and balance with healthier foods between holiday celebrations.

• Don’t skip meals. Missing a meal can make you overeat later. Eat breakfast, and try snacking on nuts, fruit, or veggies to curb your hunger for sweets.

• Choose water. A 20-ounce soda has as much sugar as 22 sugar packets. Refresh better! Try fruit-infused water, sparkling water, or unsweetened tea.

• Get moving. No time for a workout? Get more steps by taking the stairs, parking farther away from your destination, or incorporating dance moves into your holiday cleaning.

• Avoid getting the flu. Get a flu immunization and wash your hands frequently. Even healthy people can get seriously sick with the flu and spread it to others. Protect yourself and your family by getting immunized against the flu. The flu immunization is available at your doctor’s office, local pharmacies, and at Public Health clinics. View a list of clinics here:

• Avoid food poisoning. Wash fresh produce thoroughly. Separate raw meat and poultry from other food and use separate cutting boards and utensils to prepare them. Cook food properly and to the recommended temperature. Get more tips at

• Celebrate tobacco-free. If cravings hit, try chewing on gum or a toothpick, drinking water, brushing your teeth, or going for a walk. Get more tips at

• Don’t drive drunk or high. Use alcohol in moderation and never drive or get in the car with a driver who is drunk or high. If you are struggling to stay sober and not use illegal drugs, visit the Public Health Substance Abuse Prevention & Control Recovery Resources webpage at or call the Substance Abuse Service Helpline (SASH) at (844) 804-7500 for a list of organizations that offer support.

• Practice self-care. The holidays can be stressful. Take care of your mental health. Prioritize a good night’s sleep and avoid overcommitting or overspending. If you need non-emergency help with your mental health needs, call the Department of Mental Health’s County Hotline at (800) 854-7771.

• Be generous. Boost your mood by helping others. Volunteer, assist a neighbor, or donate to charity. A little generosity goes a long way for both you and those receiving it. Check out opportunities like those listed here:

• Have fun. Enjoy activities with family and friends; sing, dance, take a walk, or visit the beach. Los Angeles County is filled with wonderful, inexpensive places to visit.