Five Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas
My family’s longest-standing holiday tradition is passing out homemade fudge to friends, neighbors, and co-workers. This year, as I really try to clean up the way I eat, I’m looking for alternatives so I don’t negatively contribute to the feeding frenzy that starts around Halloween and extends through the New Year.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll eat my fair share of sugar. I just want to try to make sure to watch my portions and when I can, consume treats that contain some kind of nutritional value rather than empty calories.
Here are a few clean-conscience gift ideas that you can give to friends, teachers, co-workers, fellow military spouses, and neighbors. Do you have new neighbors that just PCSd in? These would also make great welcome gifts.
- Cranberry-Nut Mini Loaves with Flax Seeds – This is not your common loaf of sweet bread. It contains flax seeds, which are high in Omega-3s. And, if you follow my suggestion of substituting coconut sugar, this bread won’t cause sugar crashes, making it a wholesome snack, or breakfast component.
- Pumpkin Spice Truffles - I could not stop eating these. You’ll need to exercise some self-control if you want to have any left for gift giving. I rolled mine in cocoa powder, but next time, I might roll them in finely chopped almonds or pecans. They would look so pretty in a simple white box tied with twine or ribbon. You’re friends won’t believe they’re healthy!
- Homemade Coconut Granola – Really, I’m just a sucker for anything in a Mason jar. These charming jars come in various sizes and are perfect for gifting this homemade granola. Just tie some hemp twine around the neck, attach a tag, and you have a beautiful gift. Schedules become somewhat frenzied around the holidays, so having a healthy go-to breakfast or snack is something that everybody needs.
- Tea – You have to know your recipient for this one because not everyone is a tea drinker. But they should be. According to WebMD, tea offers health benefits such as helping with cancer, heart, disease, and diabetes; encouraging weight loss; lowering cholesterol; and bringing about mental alertness. I love drinking tea to squash sweet cravings. I buy flavored teas with dessert flavors such as pumpkin chai, caramel, and chocolate coconut. Yummy with minimal or no calories. And, just the ritual of tea drinking is soothing.
- Raw Local Honey – According to Modern Alternative Health, “raw honey is full of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and powerful antioxidants. It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.” It also, “helps digestion, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, stabilizes blood pressure, balances blood sugar, calms nerves, relieves pain, and treats ulcers, sore throats, colds, and indigestion.” You can use a sweet alternative to sugar (perfect for tea!), add it to sandwiches with nut/seed butter, or use it in recipes like the Pumpkin Spice Truffles mentioned above.
I will still get my share of fudge this year because my parents will make it, but it won’t affect me as I strive to meet my healthy habit goals. Even during the holiday season, by using moderation, I won’t suffer a huge setback that would have to be remedied in January.
Do you gift healthy treats? Tell us about them in the comments below.