Have a Fun, Safe and Healthy Holiday Season

News Release

For Immediate Release: November 19, 2018

Media Contact:
Ben Truman
Vermont Department of Health
802-951-5153 / 802-863-7281


Have a Fun, Safe and Healthy Holiday Season

BURLINGTON – Thanksgiving is about more than the food – okay, it’s mostly about the food. But it’s also a day of enjoying family and friends. Be sure to check these tips to guarantee a healthy, food-safe holiday.

Be Food-Safe – Before, During and After Meal Prep

Every year, millions of people in the U.S. become ill, sometimes seriously, from foodborne illness. The Health Department recommends following these simple steps to keep your food safe and your family and guests healthy:

  • CLEAN – Wash hands, utensils and food preparation surfaces with hot soapy water after they touch raw meat or poultry
  • SEPARATE – Keep raw meats away from other foods
  • COOK – To the right internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria (165°F for turkey)
  • CHILL – Refrigerate food within two hours. Use or freeze leftovers in three to four days

Watch this short video and get more helpful tips: healthvermont.gov/environment/food-lodging/food-safety-consumers

Travel Safe

Whether going over the river and through the woods, flying, or hitting the highway, prepare to arrive safely and stay healthy.

  • Get your Flu Shot – Protect yourself and those who may have conditions that leave them vulnerable to illness. Dial 2-1-1, call your doctor, or visit healthvermont.gov to find where to get your flu shot.
  • Pack a Travel First Aid Kit – Keep prescription and over-the-counter medicines, bandages, healthy snacks and drinking water handy. If going overseas, check health conditions: cdc.gov/travel.
  • Buckle Up and Take your Time – Vermont has experienced 57 traffic fatalities so far in 2018. Proper seat belt and child seat use prevents serious injury. Always drive sober and as road conditions require.

Be Active and Enjoy the Outdoors

A post-meal walk in the woods, around the neighborhood, or an afternoon of skiing or sledding are great ways to burn off calories in good company. If the weather isn’t cooperating, even dancing in the living room is fun!

  • Eat Healthy – Include fresh fruit and veggies in your holiday feast. Savor the meal, eating slower tastes better and helps you eat less. Enjoy it all, in moderate portions.
  • Keep Moving – Exercise helps you digest burns calories and improves your mood. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
  • Heads Up, Screens Down – Limit screen time for both kids and adults.

Get more tips and information: healthvermont.gov/wellness/physical-activity-nutrition

Have Healthy Conversations

Children and young adults returning home for family gatherings present opportunities to talk openly about what’s going on in their lives. This doesn’t have to be difficult or divisive. With some preparation, parents and others can take on even sensitive topics.

  • Substance Use – It’s true, parents are the #1 influence on their kids. Parentupvt.org is a valuable resource to help you help your children deal with life’s challenges.
  • Tobacco and E-Cigarettes – New and old habits have serious health consequences. Electronic vaping devices contain nicotine that is addictive and harmful to the developing adolescent brain, and tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in Vermont. Here’s how you can help inform and protect your kids:  healthvermont.gov/wellness/tobacco.
  • Healthy Relationships – Understanding what it takes to have and maintain healthy relationships benefits everyone’s physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. Learn more: healthvermont.gov/family/relationships

For health news, alerts and information, visit healthvermont.gov
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