The Department of Health is sharing tips for Louisiana residents to stay healthy this holiday season each day this week as part of its Healthy for the Holidays campaign. Each day this week, LDH will share different tips for staying healthy, including eating right, exercising, managing stress, avoiding substance abuse and safe traveling during the holidays.

All day Monday, LDH will share tips on its Facebook and Twitter accounts about how to eat more fruits and vegetables while reducing the consumption of sugary and fatty foods during the holidays. Key tips are part of the USDA’s MyPlate Holiday Makeover.

“I love spending time with my family during the holidays. As my grandchildren grow up, I know how important it is to set a good example of healthy eating,” said Secretary Kathy Kliebert. “I try to continue to eat lots of fruits and vegetables in addition to my holiday favorites. When my grandchildren see me eat the right foods, it sends the message that staying healthy is important at all times throughout the year.”

The USDA’s MyPlate Holiday Makeover recommends several simple steps for staying eating healthy this winter, including:

  • Choosing fruit for dessert instead of treats like pies and cookies;
  • Skipping sugary beverages in favor of drinking water;
  • Going easy on the gravy and other sauces; and
  • Picking whole wheat flour breads instead of white flour.

One of the simplest tricks to eating healthy this holiday season is to always fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.

“It can be tempting to load up a plate full of savory and sweet treats,” said Public Health Assistant Secretary J.T. Lane, “but if you start with fruits and vegetables you are on track to a healthier meal. Simple substitutions in your favorite recipes may help make your favorite recipes a little healthier too – try swapping butter out for pureed bananas or apple sauce. You can still enjoy the foods you love and stay healthy with a little extra planning and some simple changes.”

The USDA also recommends cutting salt and sugar in recipes and replacing them with herbs and spices to add extra flavor. Other changes like substituting evaporated skim milk in place of heavy cream can reduce the fat and calories in your favorite dishes.

More information about how to make your holiday recipes a little healthier can be found at the USDA site or at the CDC’s Fruits and Veggies Matters site here.

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.