Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

banana bread

A tray of cookies. A basket of candies. A box of caramel corn. When it comes to gift-giving, good health isn’t always a top priority. But it can be. Show your family and loved ones how much you care with gifts from the heart – that also promote good health.

The Homemade Gift

Homemade gifts are among my favorites, both to give and to receive, during the holiday season. There’s so much opportunity to get creative and add personality to your gift. You can incorporate healthy living, too.

  • Homemade activity coupons are a budget-friendly and thoughtful way to spread holiday cheer. Give your loved one a “coupon” for a home cooked (healthy!) meal or an exercise date (think skiing, hiking, or even a walk). You can really get creative with this, doing everything from offering your services as a gym buddy to doing the grocery shopping (filling the cart with nutritious foods, of course).
  • Put a healthy twist on the classic DIY holiday gift of a mason jar with a recipe attached and the ingredients inside. Try filling it with ingredients for risotto, a soup mix, or some homemade granola.
  • If you’d rather make your gift, try more nutritious options, like healthy chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, toasted walnuts or banana bread. Feeling less traditional? Put together something like a spicy dry rub, ideal for flavoring fish, chicken or grilled vegetables.

The Gift of Physical Fitness

If you’re not into making gifts (or if you’re running out of time), there are plenty of other unique, healthy options you can choose from. Try something that will inspire your loved ones to stay active!

  • Gift certificates for lessons or classes are a great way to support someone’s health-related hobby or encourage him or her to try something new. Ideas include: karate, swimming, boxing, Pilates or ballroom dancing (a gift that can be doubly nice when you agree to take the lessons together!).
  • A membership to a gym, health club or YMCA gives access to a variety of tools that can help improve his or her health.
  • Consider making a fitness-themed basket. For example, a yoga basket might include a yoga mat, meditation CDs and a gift certificate for some yoga classes. An exercise basket might include a pedometer, fitness tracker or some exercise DVDs.
  • Magazine subscriptions are great gifts that continue to give all year round. There are a variety of health and fitness magazines to choose from. They deliver advice, ideas and inspiration for better health right to the recipient’s doorstep (or computer).

The Gift of Good (Healthy) Food

Before you buy that box of chocolates or a tin of buttery popcorn, consider some healthy alternatives.

  • Looking for a great, unique gift for the locavore in your life? Try a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership, which entitles him or her to a “share” of freshly harvested produce from a regional farmer.
  • Juicers and blenders are another great way to share the holiday spirit with family and friends. These appliances are perfect for fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, a tasty way to incorporate healthy foods into any diet.
  • A gift certificate for a healthy cooking class also makes a fun gift. Better yet, offer to join in and make it an entertaining evening for you both.
  • Whether you have novice or experienced cooks in your life, everyone looks to change up recipes from time to time. That’s why healthy cookbooks make ideal gifts for anyone who enjoys time spent in the kitchen.

Holidays can be healthy. From healthy holiday food choices to gifts like these, there are many ways to make health and wellness an important part of your festivities.

Cheers to a happy, healthy holiday season!


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