Posted by Guest Author for Nutrimom
No matter how you celebrate, the holidays are going to look a little different this year. But just because you can’t host a huge dinner or travel to be with family and friends, doesn’t mean you can’t make this year special‚ while following health guidelines, of course! Here are three things to think about when planning how to celebrate while keeping your loved ones safe and healthy.
Make Mindful Memories With Family
This is a year to cherish your close family and truly enjoy spending time with them, and do the things that you rarely have time for in a typical week. For families with children, this could mean watching holiday movies, baking delicious cookies, reading festive classics or even taking those family photos you never get around to. Game nights are also a fun way to keep the whole family engaged and entertained. Depending on who’s in the family, you can play anything from simple card games to delight the little ones to the more strategy-driven or humorous games for the older family members. Just be sure to mix it up so everyone feels included and genuinely enjoys themselves.
Deciding to limit gatherings to just those you share a home with doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice making memories with other people you cherish. You can still stay connected with distant family members and friends who are not in your social bubble through video chat. Many people are hosting virtual celebrations, gift exchanges, and even playing games over video calls! However, avoid video-chat fatigue by limiting your virtual parties to an hour or so. Whatever you decide, this tech is a fabulous way to stay safe while spending time with those near and far.
Finally, some of the most precious family memories come from blessing others. You can cultivate a spirit of giving in your own family this year while staying safe. Try building a snowman in your elderly neighbors’ yards just to make them smile or singing carols from their driveways. With outside activities comes exposure to cold air, which can trigger asthma. So, when you’re out and about in the cold, be mindful of typical safety precautions, like bundling up with warm layers to protect your lungs and to avoid frostbite.
When it comes to gift-giving, it’s important to keep common allergens in mind to protect your loved ones. Little ones can be especially sensitive, so look for toys with a hypoallergenic or organic label, like this adorable stuffed elephant. Wooden toys are also a more natural alternative to plastic. Occupational toy kits like a doctor’s kit or a tool bench provide children with an outlet for their boundless imagination and energy.non-toxic art supplies and gifts as a safe, worry-free alternative to those containing wool, dyes or dangerous chemicals.
Teens and adults are easier to shop for, but you still have to watch out for the same toxins. When it comes to bath and body products, the most considerate thing you can do is not choose a product for someone else’s skin, not even those colorful bath bombs. Instead, give gift cards to shops that are dedicated to organic beauty products so they can choose something that’s right for them.
Another gift to be careful with is jewelry. Whether you’re buying earrings for a special someone or a bracelet for a friend, don’t just look for “hypoallergenic” on the label and call it a day. Instead, check what metals it’s made out of to determine whether it might cause an allergic reaction or not.
Freshly baked gifts are always a hit. Not only are they a great way to show someone you care, but baking is a fun activity to do at home with the family. However, It can quickly become a nightmare if you learn that you’ve just made a whole batch of peanut butter cookies for your niece with a peanut allergy. Making cookies for your friends and family with allergies can seem like a daunting task, but keeping yourself aware and properly equipped can make it a safe and tasty process for everyone.
Once you’ve figured out your loved ones’ dietary requirements, you can start a shopping list. For parents juggling many priorities, consider getting your baking essentials online instead of making a dreaded trip to the store. A home delivery service is a safe alternative to get everything you need for your recipes and for your clean-up process.
Your shopping is complete. So, what’s next? Well, it is a good idea to take extra precautions by creating a schedule for making your treats. If you can, try to start with the ones for those with food allergies, like these allergen friendly recipes. This will help lower your risk of cross-contamination, which is crucial to allergy safety.
Before you even begin to mix ingredients, you should make sure all of your surfaces and equipment are washed, sanitized and clear of any remaining particles that could trigger someone’s allergic reaction. You’ll want to keep sanitizing throughout the entire process. It should also go without saying that keeping your hands clean is vital to baking for any occasion, but especially when baking for someone with allergies.
If you’re up to the task of having more than one recipe in the works at one time, then keeping separate workstations can be a big help. Having color-categorized mats to lay down, or using a label system on your countertop will ensure everyone in the house knows not to set down their tasting spoons wherever they want.
It’s too easy to dwell on what we're going to miss out on this holiday season, but using this time to focus on what we do have and appreciate those around us will make this year one for the ages. Showing your friends and family that you love them, no matter how you do it, always makes the holidays feel magical.