Ask the Experts: Healthy Holiday Gifts

Give loved ones a handmade gift, a healthy food gift, like a fruit-of-the-month-club, or a gift to get them cooking healthy meals, like an immersion blender.

‘Tis the season for gift-giving! Some of my go-to holidays gifts are homemade vanilla extract, dark chocolate bark, perfectly-portioned wine glasses ( like these from Olive & Cocoa), and a CareRing ring cover (wonderful when doing all those dishes). I hit up some of my favorite fellow dietitians to find out what kind of healthy, smart and sensible gifts they like to give for the holidays.

In the Kitchen

These gadgets help facilitate all kinds of healthy cooking. Best of all, they’re budget-friendly, too.

Marlene Koch, RD, author of the New York Times bestseller Eat More of What You Love: Over 200 Brand-New Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories, suggests an immersion blender for the foodies you love. "I keep my immersion blender on-hand at all times. It's great for blending everything from eggs to cottage cheese; I also use it for making cream-less creamy soups and creamy skinny smoothies and shakes that can be enjoyed guilt-free all year long."

Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD says “ SodaStream machine is one of my favorite gifts.  I love helping people make their own sparking beverages so that they don't drink as many sugary beverages and because there's no empties, it's environmentally-friendly too.”

Healthy Eats contributor Jason Machowsky opts for a sturdy, basic mandoline. “it works wonders in the kitchen … I use the OXO Good Grips line, good stuff for around $30-40.”

Janel Orvut Funk, resident vegetarian expert at Healthy Eats told me, “one of my favorite kitchen tools is the non-stick baking mat, Silpat. It truly is non-stick, prevents burned cookie bottoms and reduces waste, since you don't need to rely on aluminum foil or parchment paper.”

Healthy Eats expert Toby Amidor wants to get the kiddies cooking. “It’s fun to have kids help in the kitchen. Little hands are more comfy with smaller handles. Curious Chef provides cooking tools perfectly sized for your young ones.”

Yummy and Healthy

Sometimes ready-to-eat gifts are the way to go. These mouth-watering goodies will please anyone on your list.

"I love to force fruit on people in the most beautiful, delicious way!" says Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD, co-author of Energy to Burn and communications consultant in New York City. " Harry & David offers an elegant, seasonal fruit club that sends recipients amazingly fresh fruit each month. And everyone enjoys it because you can choose to have the first shipment arrive with chocolates and decadent treats."

Great minds think alike, Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD of says “I'm a big fan of Fruit of the Month -- the gift that keeps on giving -- it's like Christmas for 3+ months!”

Our very own Robin Miller shared one of her favorite sweet treats. “My favorite edible gift is Popcornopolis – unbelievably delicious in any flavor. I love the look of the cones. I gift myself all the time!”

Registered dietitian Heidi McIndoo, author of  The Complete Idiot's Guide to 200-300-400 Calorie Meals  keeps and bone health in mind. “My favorite edible gift to give is a homemade hot chocolate mix. I love to put some in a cellophane bag and tie it up with cute ribbon and then put it in a mug with a small bag of mini marshmallows. In my instructions I always say to prepare with warm milk instead of the water many mixes call for so the drink can be a good source of calcium.”

Tell Us: What health-inspired gifts are you giving this year?
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