10 Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

Like most people, you probably feel a little dread each year as the holiday season swings into full gear. It’s not from the time of year, rather the endless supply of big meals followed by tempting desserts. But you can easily bring back a little healthiness to the holidays by giving healthy holiday gifts. These don’t have to be boring or insulting. In fact, they can be the best present someone receives. It can be difficult to find that perfect, special gift for everyone on your list but luckily there’s an endless supply of gifts for those committed to making healthy choices. So this year, skip out on giving chocolate gift baskets and alcohol, and give some of these 10 healthy holiday gift ideas that anyone would be happy to receive…

1. Blender or Smoothie Maker

You might be tired of seeing pictures of everyone’s smoothies on social media but the health benefits from many of those smoothies are too important to ignore. Smoothies have become quite the trend in the health and fitness world, and for good reason. It likely started with extreme fitness buffs drinking high protein shakes to help their energy and encourage muscle development. Now people of all ages are jumping on the smoothie and energy shakes train, making a blender or specific smoother maker the perfect healthy holiday gift.

Smoothies are an easy way to incorporate many superfoods that are currently making the rounds on health news. Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, as well as protein and fiber, can easily be added to smoothies, giving you a healthy boost in more ways than one – fresh fruit contain many healthy components, while smoothies with added protein help you get the energy to make it through the day or during a workout. If you have money left to spend, there are tons of smoothie cookbooks that would be a great complement to the main gift.

2. Cooking Classes

Cooking classes are an interesting but healthy gift to give someone, assuming the lesson isn’t in baking unhealthy desserts. There’s been a pretty significant emergence of cooking classes across North America, especially the kinds that target specific demographics or advocate healthy eating. From single-living cooking and fast but healthy meals, to gluten-free and portion control, cooking classes are a fun, interactive gift that won’t be forgotten. And the tips the lucky gift-receiver will learn and the skills they’ll develop can have a positive effect on eating habits.

Another great thing about giving someone cooking classes is that depending on who you’re giving them to, it could be a joint gift. You could give it to your parents to do together, take your significant other for a fun night out bonding, or bring your best friend along for some good memories. In the end, it doesn’t matter who you buy it for – it’s a healthy holiday gift that will surprise and please the person lucky enough to get it.

3. Fitness Tracker

For the techy person on your holiday gift list, there’s an array of fitness trackers that offer a healthy – but trendy and cool – holiday gift. Fitness trackers are another health-focused way to stay in shape and live a healthy life. The features of these trackers vary widely, with some that have just a couple features to others that do just about everything. Depending on what you’re going for and how much money you want to spend, even some of the less-advanced trackers have good reviews.

You can enter stats, and in some cases the gadget is smart enough to know when you’re walking, running, swimming and sleeping. Many fitness trackers connect to your smart phone, tablet and computer, offering information from anywhere. Most of them track your fitness activity and give you a goal to reach for the day. Often this comes in the form of accomplishing a certain level of activity. Your sleep will likely be tracked, including identifying whether or not you slept well. There are also countless apps for these trackers that allow you to enter more specific information about your fitness activity and meals.

4. Kitchen Utensils

Not all healthy holiday gifts need to be expensive. A cheap but effective way to please a health-conscious loved one or friend is something as simple but beneficial as an egg poacher. There are a variety of health benefits for poaching eggs compared to frying and scrambled eggs, including fewer calories from not using oil or butter to cook them in and decreasing toxins by cooking at a much lower temperature. Poached eggs are often part of a healthy diet that can help you with your weight loss goals.

Another cooking gadget commonly known for its health benefits is a steamer. Vegetable steamers are another fairly low-priced item that can cut out the unhealthy use of butter or too much oil when cooking vegetables. If you use a steamer, you’ve likely noticed how rich in flavor your vegetables are compared to other cooking methods like boiling in water. That’s because steamers keep the color and flavor locked in, as well as the nutrients – steaming is known as one of the best ways to get the most nutrients from cooked vegetables.

5. Food Scale

This gift might push the boundary of appropriate, depending on the relationship you have with the person you give the food scale to – so be careful with this one. To be safe, only give it to someone you either know is currently trying to follow portion control but doesn’t have a scale yet, or to someone you know would like to start weighing their food. Otherwise, you might risk offending or hurting whoever you give it to, implying that you think they need to use a food scale.

Food scales can make it much easier for those sticking to a portion control diet, but also to those who aren’t. Weighing food makes you more aware of how much you’re eating, increasing the chances of cooking a healthy amount of food instead of overindulging. Plus, it’s handy to have around when you need to weigh an ingredient for a recipe but don’t have the appropriate-size of package. Anything from the amount of cheese you want to stick to in a day to a specific serving of pasta or potatoes can be used on a food scale.

6. Exercise Class

This is another gift you want to make sure is received in the right way, and if you give it to someone you aren’t close to or has weight issues, it’s not likely going to go over well. But it is most definitely a good gift to give to an active friend, your gym buddy (so you can both try the class), or a family member focused on getting regular activity. And it doesn’t have to break your bank – a lot of exercise classes can be found at a discount on coupon and group buying websites.

Giving a pass to an exercise class is also a great excuse to try something new. Sometimes people want to try out a new class but never go through with it, so a gift like this can give them the push they secretly want and need. There’s also the fact that many active people suffer from a common problem – the ability to stay engaged and motivated with their workouts. Signing them up for a class they’ve never tried could provide the motivation and encouragement they need, and keep them focused.

7. Fitness Kit

There are thousands of exercise DVDs available, which could be a good healthy holiday gift for anyone on your list who enjoys or prefers exercising in the comfort of their own home. But you can go a step further and buy an exercise kit. These kits are typically focused on a certain type of exercise, and include a workout DVD, basic exercise equipment needed to do what’s on the DVD, and even a book in some cases. Books often give you an introduction by explaining the history of the exercise, and different poses and routines to follow.

One of the most popular exercise kits is yoga, and the equipment found in the kit often includes blocks, straps, and a mat, giving the person the basic necessities. Pilates is another popular form of exercise that you could find a kit for, and might include anything from rings, a stability ball, cords, and bands. These complete kits are a healthy holiday gift, so if you’re stumped on what to buy someone who enjoys exercise, this will likely be a gift they love.

8. Health Magazine Subscription

Magazine subscriptions are the gift that keeps on giving, and with all of the deals that magazine companies offer when purchasing a yearly subscription, you get a lot of gift for little money – it’s not uncommon to see a yearly subscription offered for 50 percent off. At the end of the year, you may decide to renew it as their gift again if they really enjoyed it, and then you’re covered for their holiday gift for potentially many years to come.

The only thing that may be difficult in your magazine search is deciding what magazine to order. There are so many available these days, many of which cover everything related to your health – nutrition and dieting, fitness, beauty, sex, and living a healthy, balanced life all around. Or, if that health-focused person on your list is fanatic about a specific form of exercise, you might be able to find a magazine related to it. There are magazines for specific forms of exercise, some of which include running, yoga, bodybuilding, and weight training.

9. Picnic Backpack

Not everyone will know what this gift is, exactly, but it offers the gift-giver the opportunity to get a little creative. And if you’re someone who loves buying little things that go together for one big present, this is perfect for you. A picnic backpack is simply a backpack full of picnic necessities – things you need to bring with you when hiking for long enough that you’ll need food. So many people exercise without the proper equipment, and a good backpack for the avid hiker can help ensure they stay safe while enjoying the outdoors.

Buy a backpack that has good back support. A sales person should be able to help you, or do your research online to be safe. Look for one with straps across the hips and chest for optimal support. Once you have the backpack, fill it with things you need on a picnic – anything from reusable cutlery and plates to water bottles and even a lightweight blanket. This is also a good gift for someone who likes to be environmentally friendly, by including only reusable items.

10. Reusable Water Bottles

Everyone knows that drinking water isn’t just good because you need to stay hydrated, but that it’s also a vital component of being healthy every day. Instead of buying plastic bottles that are thrown out and end up in landfills year after year, buy a reusable water bottle as a healthy holiday gift. Many people you know probably already carry around their own water bottle – but even if the person you need to buy for has one, there are all different types of reusable water bottles on the market as a result of this trend.

From colors and designs to built in ice packs and flavor compartments, even the most health-conscious person on your list won’t have all of these. And if it’s something you know they’ll use, there’s no harm in adding another to their collection, especially the kind that allows you to naturally infuse your water with fresh fruit. These types of features allow you to skip the aspartame and sugar often added to water, and instead allow you to enjoy refreshing, naturally-flavored water.

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