Give the gift of health this holiday season with our top 8 ideas

  • 3 Minutes Read
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Specialist Educator

You’ve been working hard on your own health and wellness throughout the year, so, naturally, you want to share the gift of health with others. Instead of burdening your loved ones with caloric cuisine, try one of these healthy holiday gift ideas.

Gift of health

8 ways to share the gift of health

Many people give chocolate, baked goods, and other holiday treats to friends and loved ones as holiday gifts. And there is nothing wrong with that if the receiver truly wants them. But if someone is health-minded or struggles with weight or high blood sugar levels, consider wellness holiday gifting.

1. Spices

Many home cooks do not splurge on quality spices, so they are a welcome treat for their kitchen staples. Buy spices online or at a local spice shop. You can buy spices in bulk and package them in bags or small containers from craft and container stores. For a personal touch, ship them to your loved ones with a favorite recipe featuring the spices.

There are many online spice shops, but our favorites are Savory Spice and The Spice House. Mulling spices, ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, black truffle sea salt, smoked black pepper, and sweet and spicy paprika are sure to be well-received!

2. Coffee and tea

Many of us have a daily coffee or tea habit but don’t treat ourselves to unique and high-quality choices. Such antioxidant-packed and essentially calorie-free treats make thoughtful, comforting gifts.

Before gifting coffee or tea, find out what form the recipient prefers. Do they like regular or caffeine-free? Whole coffee beans or ground coffee? Loose-leaf tea or tea bags?

Shop your local specialty tea or coffee shop for unique blends and products. Great online sources include Tea Forte, The Tea Spot, and Bean Box Coffee.

3. Food calendars

Artistic images of healthy foods provide daily inspiration to eat healthier. Why not gift a calendar with beautiful photos, drawings, or paintings of fruits and vegetables?

The Good Foods calendar from The Center for Science in the Public Interest is an excellent choice, featuring photos of seasonal foods and a monthly recipe idea. This Mindful Eating calendar supports a healthy approach toward eating. If you are looking for something more whimsical, Play with Your Food calendar features playful scenes created entirely from fruits and vegetables.

4. Olive oil or balsamic vinegar

Thoughtful luxuries such as high-quality oils and balsamic vinegar make thoughtful host gifts for most home cooks. A high quality olive oil or vinegar would be lovely for someone following a Mediterranean diet or anyone appreciating the subtle flavors of quality olive oil or vinegar. These products typically come in beautiful bottles. Just add a festive bow, and they are ready for gifting.

Online retailers for quality oils and vinegar include Market Hall Foods, Zingermans, and Olio2go.

5. Cookbooks

Encourage healthy and delicious meals with the gift of a cookbook.

Here are some of our favorite healthy cookbooks for gifting:

America’s Test Kitchen Complete Plant-Based Cookbook

The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook

Easy Everyday Mediterranean Cookbook

The DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution

Whole in One: Complete, Healthy Meals in a Single Pot, Sheet Pan or Skillet

Healing through Nutrition: The Essential Guide to 50 Plant-based Nutritional Sources

Healthy Cooking for One

Don’t forget the basics when it comes to cookbooks. The bibles of home cooks everywhere, Joy of Cooking or How to Cook Everything can help an aspiring cook become a home chef! Loaded with classic recipes, both kitchen essentials include helpful background information and references on cooking.

Know someone who loves to cook but wants to minimize clutter? A digital gift subscription to New York Times Cooking, Eating Well, or Vegetarian Times will provide year-long cooking inspiration.

6. Wearable fitness tracker

A wearable fitness tracker makes a nice gift for someone who doesn't own one or would like an upgrade. Wearables do more than count steps—many monitor heart rate and calories burned, among other features.

Wearables can be great exercise motivators. Watches can alert the user to stand up and move around periodically to avoid prolonged sitting's ill effects. Wearables count steps and distance and estimate calories burned, increasing motivation to stay active. MyNetDiary syncs with Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin Connect, and Withings, providing seamless integration of food and activity data.

7. Pampering and wellness gifts

Who wouldn't welcome a gift that encourages relaxation? Journals, yoga mats, scented candles, puzzles, and craft materials encourage the recipient to take time out for themselves. A spa gift certificate or a massage tool (like these from RAD) are the perfect fit for anyone on your list.

8. MyNetDiary gift subscription

We admit to being biased on this one, but we can’t think of a better gift of health! You can save up to 50% off the yearly rate on MyNetDiary gift subscriptions. The lucky recipient will get an email with a code to access MyNetDiary’s Premium features right away. They will have access to hundreds of dietitian-curated Premium recipes, a supportive Community Forum, and customizable tracking tools to support their health and nutrition goals.

Contributions from the MyNetDiary Dietitian Team.

Dec 2, 2022

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