Healthy Gift Giving for the Holidays
It’s time to start planning for both holiday gift giving and New Year’s Resolutions. Every year there are helpful sources that identify gifts that are good for the recipient, good for the environment, and make the gift giver happy with their choices.
We have a list, too, and these gift suggestions focus on reducing barriers to making healthy choices. Many people already know that they need to be more active and eat better, but obstacles get in the way. The gift ideas below help minimize some of the common challenges. We also include gifts that reduce stress because stress and balance are often overlooked when considering gifts of health.
Olive oils: A bottle of high quality extra virgin olive oil is sure to please the health-conscious cooks on your list. Quality olive oil improves salad dressings, oil-based dips, homemade pesto and any pot of pasta. A good bottle could cost as much as a bottle of wine, so think about olive oil as an alternative for a host gift when you go to a holiday party.
Membership to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): You can give a year-long gift of fresh produce, local meats, eggs and dairy, herbs, local honey, and handmade soaps from a CSA near the gift recipient. Find a CSA near your loved ones.
Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, pistachios and cashews contain healthy monounsaturated fats that can lower your loved one’s risk of heart disease. You may even want to print up facts about nuts and heart health.
Healthy lunches: Make packing lunch fun with colorful and reusable items such as Bento boxes, water bottles, and baggies. There are many creative ideas at Reuseit.com.
Cookbooks: Introduce new cooking ideas and skills by giving cookbooks with a healthy twist.
Home garden supplies: Whether you have a seasoned farmer or budding gardener in your life, home gardens offer healthy, organic alternatives to store bought produce. There are garden gifts for all types of gardeners. Here are ideas for simple vegetable garden kits.
Fitness equipment: Equip your loved ones with new supplies for their favorite sport or a new fitness activity. Try running/walking gloves, socks, yoga mat or videos, hand weights, or exercise balls. Ideas are limitless so consider equipment that will help the gift recipient tackle some of their fitness challenges. For example, many parents have a hard time fitting in exercise, so hand weights or yoga videos might be appropriate for early-morning routines.
Fitness tracker: Some of us simply need to move more throughout the day and an activity tracker can encourage more movement. View this link to see the many activity trackers available.
Boot camps and activity classes/groups: Gyms are no longer the only place to get a good workout. Check your local resources for boot camps, mommy-and-me fitness groups, walking groups, rock climbing gyms, and zumba classes.
Stress Management and Balance
Calming “tools”: The list of stress relieving resources is long…candles, lavender sachets, bath salts, lotions, relaxing music, squeezable stress balls, tea bags, and crossword puzzles.
Massage: A gift of a massage is a gift of ultimate relaxation and “get-away.” Look for local vendors with good reputations.
Resources to managing stress: Stress is a chronic condition and the greatest gift may be resources to help tackle the root cause of the stresses. There are stress management books and programs to help people understand and manage stress.
Not all gifts of health need to be purchased. Coupons or certificates for at-home massage, a cooked meal, regular family hikes, or game nights are great ideas. For many families, simply taking on a regular chore to allow the primary caretaker a break is a very appreciated gift.
Happy Holidays from ConnectWell.