Holiday Gifts for a Healthy Lifestyle

Originally posted December 3, 2014.

Do you need some holiday gift-giving ideas? Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD and Sarah Downs, MBA, RDN have got it covered! These gift ideas are sure to inspire those on your list to whip up some healthy foods and get moving!

Carolyn says:

If you’ve got a health nut on your gift list – or someone who wants to be one in the New Year – here are some simple and affordable suggestions in the culinary, fitness, and gardening categories:

Gifts for Healthy Cooking

Salad Spinner – Create a gift basket and fill with olive oils, mustards and vinegars.

Slow Cooker – One of the best ways to tenderize tasty cuts of lean meat in stews packed with tasty veggies.

Lemon Juicer – Another handy and inexpensive kitchen tool to add fresh bright flavor and health to dishes. “I rely on lemons for everything including salad dressings, baking, beverages, cooking soups, casseroles, and veggie dishes,” says registered dietitian Sharon Palmer, cookbook author of Plant Powered for Life. Just slice the lemon in half, place it in the tool, press down the top, and let the juice flow.

Fit for Fitness

Fitness Sensors – One of the hottest healthy gifts this year. Wearable digital fitness bands keep track of activity, food intake, sleep patterns and more.

Fitness Gear – Clothes or equipment for an activity someone does or wants to try such as yoga, or a Pilates mat, yoga blocks, hiking poles, sports-specific workout clothes and shoes.

Healthy Apps – It can be challenging to keep up with all the new food and health apps coming out, but registered dietitian Catherine Frederico, who blogs at, says, “I would suggest an app store card gift certificate with recommendations for a few health apps such as a grocery one or one for dining out.”

 Sarah says:

The holidays are a great time to be creative when giving gifts and you don’t have to break the bank to do so. There are lots of affordable and health-focused ideas that your friends and family will love! Some of my favorites are:

A Popcorn Basket. Include a simple popcorn popper, fun bowl, popcorn kernels, and different herbs + seasonings. Popcorn is a great snack that is low in calories, high in fiber and tasty! When you pop your own and add your own seasonings/herbs you are able to cut down on the excess fat, salt and calories that is sometimes found in other popcorns.

Fruit-Infused Water Bottle or Pitcher: These are a great way to add some flavor to your water without any added sugars. My favorite is slicing up strawberries and mint leaves!

A Pass or Gift Card to a Fun Exercise Class (that you can attend together!): This is a great way to get moving and have fun together. There are many unique and different types of exercise classes and studios all over town. Looking for something a little more budget-friendly? Visit a park near you and take a hike or walk together, sometimes the best gift is quality time spent with one another.

And check out this video from Carolyn for some more gift ideas!