There is one thing I consistently avoid during the holiday season. I refuse to give candy, chocolate or gourmet desserts as a gift. Okay, maybe it is the “dietitian side” of me that just can’t go there (and let’s be honest, most people would be surprised if I did), but honestly during a season of indulging and decadent foods, do we really need gifts that encourage more of the same?
SO…I think outside the box for some gifts and play it safe for others. Sometimes I keep it simple with fragrant candles and nice hand creams. But when I know someone enough to know what their preferences are, I go with healthy DIY gifts. Now, I know what you are thinking…the dietitian goes and gives people a box of quinoa or whole grain cereal. I assure you this isn’t the case, and I bet you may even find one of these ideas I do go with perfect for your list too.
Gifts in a Jar
Go ahead and create one of these gifts in a jar for the “Pinterest type” on your list…
Power Jar: Layer oats, bulgur and barley along with raisins and cinnamon. Add a tag or sticker with the recipe for this Five Minute Multi-Grain Cereal. Similarly, you can layer the ingredients for these Pumpkin Bites.
Sunday Morning Breakfast Jar: Give this recipe for these divine Banana Bread Pancakes along with the layers of dry ingredients (and maybe a side of pure maple syrup) and you will have a friend for life.
Salad Jar: Naturally, you can’t give salad in a jar (unless you are surprising a friend with lunch!), but for the person you know is trying to eat better, you can fill a big jar with individual olive oil and vinegar servings, seeds, sliced nuts and other fun salad toppings. Attach a small flip book of different salad ideas.
Gifts for Food Lovers Who Don’t Cook
Help those on your list find their “inner foodie” with these inspiring ideas…
Personalized cookbook: Create a flip book of recipe cards…possibly with notes about when you love to make the dish, the small changes you like to make or your favorite wine to have with it. Or create them an account on your favorite cooking website and develop an online cookbook for them. You can also take it a step further and create them their own Pinterest board with an array of recipes and more to inspire them to get them into the kitchen. Note: If this gift doesn’t seem “complete” enough to you, add a supermarket gift card or your favorite kitchen utensils.
My favorite things basket: They love when you cook… so create a basket of your favorite spices, sauces and marinades and more that are your go-to when you get into the kitchen. Before long your friend will be channeling your vibes in their kitchen.
Meal in a box: In the midst of this very busy season, what could be better than a gift of a meal? Take the guesswork out of dinner with a meal in a box. Provide all of the ingredients (except possibly highly perishable ingredients, unless appropriate) along with a recipe and freezing/defrosting instructions if the finished dish is large enough for more than one meal. Note: you can also go ahead and make them dinner and pass along the recipe you used!
Gifts with that Catalogue Panache
You’ve flipped through the pages of the gourmet gift magazines and want to create something just like it…except better for you and likely more personalized too.
For the tea lover: A collection of fine teas, including some loose tea along with an infuser or strainer, packaged with a couple of mugs and local honey, will be well received (and is easy to put together!). If it seems like a good fit, you can also do a basket of teas created to relax or energize and complement with other items (such as essential oils).
Lovin’ Local: Celebrate the state you live in with a basket of goods made locally! Mix it up with a blend of items and possibly even information on the farms or manufactures who produce the goods. You will likely be able to find an eclectic mix of things at your local supermarket or farmers market!
Exotic fruits: Sure you can send a box of oranges or pears, but what about a gift of exotic fruits tied with tags about what they are, where they come from, and what they taste like. A fun gift for a family, this will introduce kids and adults alike to produce they may never have tried… or even knew existed!