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  • Healthy gift ideas for the holidays

    Here are this year’s picks:
    1. Canning starter set. Gardeners and fresh produce fans will appreciate getting a jump start on preserving next year’s bounty. Most sets include a water bath (large pot), jar lifter, funnel, jars and lids. Newer low-cost kits have nonmetal racks that can be used in kitchen stock pots. Toss in grandma’s favorite canning recipes.
    2. Food games. There are tons of trivia games out there for foodies. Check out the latest cooking edition of the legendary “letter tile” game. Don’t forget that little ones like to play with food too — search on “kitchen chemistry toys” and “play food” for gift ideas.
    3. Muffin top pan. This fun gift makes it easy way to enjoy the best part of the muffin — and keeps the serving size reasonable.
    4. Thermal totes and reusable grocery bags. Help family and friends keep food safe and be environmentally conscious when grocery shopping.
    5. Daily calendar with tear-off healthy recipes. Great for last-minute meal ideas. While you’re at it, include a recipe box so favorite recipes can be saved.
    6. Magnetic strip and spice tins with see-through tops. Fill with favorite spices. Add a favorite recipe or two.
    7. Apron or chef coat. Dressing the part can be an inspiration to get cooking. Styles vary from nostalgic aprons to professional chef coats.
    8. Frozen pop molds or makers. Fun for the whole family, these molds can be filled with pureed fruit for a healthy frozen treat.
    9. Tea mug with built-in infuser. Add herbal, green or white tea. This gift is a great way to kick the coffee habit and get more antioxidants.
    10. Gym bag. A nice new bag may provide the motivation to get back to the gym.

    Need more ideas? Here are a few from previous years: lunch tote, water bottle, pedometer, baking stone, soup tureen, steamer insert, countertop compost crock, gift baskets with whole grains, and herb seeds and pots.

    Happy holidays!

    By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.

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