DOH-5 Encourages Healthy Holidays: Prioritising Nutrition and Safe Play for a Festive Season

philippines festive

With Christmas drawing near and festivities in full swing, the Department of Health (DOH)-5 in Bicol is taking the lead in promoting a holiday season centred on health and safety.

Arlene Riario, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) regional program coordinator, recently addressed the public in a press conference. She urged the public to prioritise nutritious foods and safe toys to ensure a festive yet health-conscious celebration.

Navigating the Temptations of the Season

The holiday season often beckons with a plethora of delectable treats and indulgent meals, challenging our commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Riario acknowledges the difficulty of making healthy choices during the season. Despite this, she emphasises that with strategic planning and prioritisation, it is indeed possible to strike a harmonious balance between savouring festive foods and being mindful of our health. She reiterates the importance of incorporating nutrient-rich options such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains into holiday menus. Managing portion sizes and opting for alternatives like water, herbal tea, or infused water over sugary drinks and alcohol are key components of this health-conscious approach.

Making Thoughtful Choices at Celebrations

The season is synonymous with parties and gatherings, and Riario offers practical advice on making informed food choices in such settings. She encourages individuals to survey the buffet before loading their plates. In addition, she also advises opting for healthier alternatives while being cautious of high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sugar foods. Selective indulgence in holiday treats allows for enjoyment without compromising overall health. Practicing mindfulness during meals—savoring each bite and paying attention to what one consumes—contributes to a more gratifying and health-focused holiday experience.

Incorporating Physical Activities

Riario emphasises the significance of incorporating physical activities into the holiday routine. Amidst the celebratory feasts, maintaining an active lifestyle can help prevent diseases and offset the potential impact of indulgent holiday meals. Simple activities such as brisk walking, a short workout, or engaging in festive activities that involve movement are enough as long as you keep yourself active during the holiday. This is because staying active contributes to overall well-being and adds an extra layer of joy to the holiday season.

Safe and Age-Appropriate Toys

Moving beyond nutritional considerations, the DOH-Bicol emphasises the critical role of choosing safe and age-appropriate toys for children. According to the department, a safe toy should align with a child’s physical capabilities, mental age, and social development. It should also be considered well-constructed, durable, and suitable for their age. The agency aims to ensure a safe and joyous holiday season for children. Therefore, they underscore the importance of parental supervision during the playtime of children.

Responsible Packaging Disposal

In addition to advocating for safe play, the DOH urges parents to dispose of packaging responsibly. It should also be kept out of the reach of children. This precautionary measure prevents potential hazards associated with packaging materials. Additionally, it contributes to creating a safe environment for children to enjoy the holiday season without unnecessary risks.


As the festive countdown begins, the DOH-5’s call for health-conscious celebrations serves as a poignant reminder to prioritise well-being during this joyous time. By making thoughtful food choices, incorporating physical activities, selecting age-appropriate toys, and responsibly disposing of packaging, individuals and families can embrace the holiday season with a holistic commitment to health and safety. May this season be not only merry. May it also be a time of nurturing and cherishing the well-being of ourselves and our loved ones.

Share via

Also worth reading

People also read:

Unmasking Endocrine Disruptors: The Invisible Chemicals Shaping Our Health

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a silent menace that infiltrate our daily lives, impacting our health in subtle yet significant ways. These stealthy substances can interfere with our hormonal balance, leading to a myriad of health issues. In Asia, where rapid industrialisation and urbanisation have intensified the presence of EDCs, understanding their sources, effects, and ways to reduce exposure is crucial. This article delves into the world of endocrine disruptors and their impact on Asia’s health landscape.

Read More »
Angina: What Is It?

Angina is chest discomfort or pain, usually symptomatic of underlying coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is the blockage of blood flow through the coronary arteries

Read More »