With the holidays in full swing, I thought it might be helpful to offer up some healthy gift ideas suggested by my nutrition pals. Because if you’re anything like me, gift buying can be a little stressful. You can thank me later.
I will admit this can be a costly gift for some, but also a rather amazing one if possible. My hubby has been looking into one for himself, but hmmm, maybe he could be looking into another? Hint, hint.
Per Samantha Cassetty, nutrition and wellness expert and co-author of Sugar Shock, “The Apple Watch is a great gift for people who like to track their workouts. I personally love my Apple Watch SE because it reminds me to move more than I might without it. It measures my steps, other activities (like yoga or a session on my spin bike) and how many hours I’ve stood for at least a minute. If I’m lagging behind in any area, I can add more movement to my day.”
[READ: Making the Most of Your Fitbit]
This gift idea I had never heard of, but thanks to Frances Largeman-Roth, nutrition expert, runner and author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen, I ‘m now in the know.
According to Largeman-Roth, “if you have a 40+ runner or cyclist (or really any athlete) in your life, the Marc Pro is hands down the best gift you can give them. It’s pricey, but so worth it to help them keep doing what they love without pain. The Marc Pro is a device that stimulates your muscles for active recovery, helping you run, cycle or do yoga with less muscle pain and fatigue.”
“There’s rarely a kitchen gadget that I don’t like,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of “Read It Before You Eat It – Taking You from Label to Table,” “and my new fave is an electric kettle.”
Per Taub-Dix, “this is a perfect gift for tea lovers who want steamy water in super-fast speed, and it’s also perfect for those who enjoy hot cocoa or pour-over coffee. (That would be me!) These kettles come in a variety of colors and range from a variety of prices so choose one that suits you. I was lucky to get one as a gift from my son.”
Box of Tea
And while we’re on the tea topic, Amy Gorin, a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats in Stamford, Connecticut, is also a huge fan.
“I love to give tea as a gift. I love to use it as a stocking stuffer and group together several really gourmet boxes for larger gifts. Tea has so many health-helping benefits because of the antioxidants it boasts,” states Gorin.
Patricia Bannan, nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist and author of “From Burnout to Balance,” votes for a sound machine.
“Give the gift of a good night’s sleep with a sound machine. Quality sleep affects everything — your mood, appetite, food choices, immunity and ability to focus. Filling your environment with soothing tones, as well as masking loud disruptions, creates a more relaxing bedroom environment that promotes high-quality sleep and overall wellness. Whether you choose to listen to white noise, chirping birds or ocean waves, a sound machine is a healthy gift that keeps on giving.”
Funny thing about this is that ever since my granddaughter slept over recently, I’m now going to sleep with the sound of ocean waves, her personal favorite. I’m hooked.
“An air fryer is a must have gift for any friends or family members who like to cook but are short on time. It’s especially perfect for any new moms. It cooks food super quickly, and you can make just about anything in it,” says Sammi Haber Brondo, of Sammi Brondo Nutrition in New York. Her personal favorite is the Ninja AF101, 4 QT. Air Fryer.
Honestly, an air fryer has been on my must buy list for ages. However, since I live in a New York City apartment I have felt a little overwhelmed in adding one more appliance to my kitchen.
Herb and Spice Gift Boxes
Liz Weiss, cookbook author, speaker and host of the Liz’s Healthy Table podcast recommends a very cool gift that in my opinion makes the perfect gift for the host of your holiday meal.
“For home cooks looking for new ways to elevate the flavor and wow factor of their every-day recipes, to people trying to reduce the sodium in their diets to anyone who loves to bake, a gift box filled with jars or packets of dried herbs and spices is the perfect holiday gift,” says Weiss. “There are several companies out there that will do the work for you. Penzey’s offers a variety of gift boxes with themes like Salad Lovers, Baker’s, Salt Free and Your Way.
Dietitian Michelle Dudash started her Dash Dinners Meal Spice Kits company to bring ease to meal prep with nine spice blends, including Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps, Sloppy Joe, Taco and Ramen, and each pack has a healthy, 20-minute recipe on the back.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, nutritionist and author of “The Superfood Swap,” admits to being obsessed with her subscription to the New York Times Crossword Puzzle App. According to Blatner, “it’s a gift for both fun and brain fitness. In fact, research suggests that people who regularly do word puzzles have brain function up to 10 years younger than those who don’t. Plus, it’s something to do at night during commercial breaks instead of going to the kitchen for snacks.”
Interesting enough, I’ve been obsessed with the same for years. Still working mostly on the minis and full Monday one, but one day I hope to be able to do the full Sunday, the hardest of the week. It’s always good to have goals.
Monthly Fruit Basket Subscription
“Most Americans are following short of consuming the recommended 2 cups of fruit daily, and hence, aren’t meeting their daily potassium and fiber needs,” according to Joan Salge Blake, nutrition professor at Boston University and host of the hit nutrition and health podcast Spot On!
“When that box of Mother Nature’s finest arrives with the most delicious, sweetest fruit, it is guaranteed to be a treat and help with these diet deficits. I love to give and get (hint, hint) this bounty as it is a gift that keeps giving throughout the year.”
Take produce gift giving one step further, Jackie Newgent, plant-forward chef and registered dietitian nutritionist, recommends. “For the environmentally-conscientious people on your list, give them a gift card or subscription to Hungry Harvest, Misfits Market or a similar company that sources fresh fruits and veggies that would otherwise go to waste.
Hint: When produce decomposes in a landfill, it significantly contributes to climate-harmful methane emissions. The fresh rescued produce arrives in a delivery box straight to the door. Not only will it be good for your giftee, but it’ll be also healthy for the planet.”
More from U.S. News