Keiki Talk: Simple tips for healthy holidays

Keep your children and your family calm and healthy this holiday season with a few simple adjustments to your routine. Clinical and Educational Psychologist Dr. Allana Coffee’s suggestions are:

Set the example of loving calm and patience by using time management. Some children express a distaste for the season because “everybody gets so stressed out.”  You want to avoid that at all costs!

Set up conditions for good behavior by not overscheduling. Shopping online, or avoiding long lines at brick-and-mortar stores by shopping during off-hours helps reduce tantrums and overexposure.

Be aware of diet and hygiene. “We get sick from germs, so the Centers for Disease Control is emphasizing hygiene basics this season- simple things like hand washing and covering your mouth can make a difference. Throw in a little exercise to help after eating all the rich foods, too,” she says.

Kids should own the holiday successes, too. If you are hosting or visiting, the children can help, decorate cook, shop and wrap. This affords both quality time and child supervision.

Remind your child – and yourself – what the holidays are really all about. “Dr. Romero Demirbag introduced an image to me to help me remain centered during this time of year: that of a young child’s face lit by a candle. It is a moment of reverence, awe, and a magic that permeates this time of year,” she reminds us. “Happy and safe holidays everybody!”

Reach Dr. Coffee at

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