Healthy Alternatives to the Fruitcake Gift!

At a recent holiday gathering, I had to chuckle to myself, as my gift was the only one that was not edible! I also noticed holiday gift giving is very perishable, but generally not the healthiest. If we like to treat our family, friends, and loved ones with consumable gifts, let’s consider healthier options to show them how much we care about their health and well-being. We don’t have to give everyone fruitcake!

Tea Blends

There’s a tea out there for everyone. Pick up a tin of tea bags, or buy some loose-leaf tea and a strainer for a gift that’s packed with antioxidant power. You can find beautiful tea blended with flowers, dried fruit, herbs and spices. Be sure to look for tea blends that don’t have any sugars or sweeteners in the ingredients.

Herbs and spices

Herbs and spices make healthy and thoughtful gifts. Buy a packaged herb/spice mixture or make your own. Just buy your spices in bulk and get some small jars to fill with your creations. Add a gift tag, and you’ve made something beautiful and useful. If you’re buying an herb blend or spice rub, make sure you check the ingredients list. Avoid any with salt, sugar, dextrose, or artificial flavors or colors added. You can read a recent Front Door Fitness blog post on herbs here: http://www.frontdoorfitness.com/healing-herbs-mind-body/

Soup jars

You’ve seen trendy jars full of hot cocoa mix and brownie baking mix. Why not fill a Mason jar with beans, lentils, whole grains, and dried herbs and spices to create a cozy soup mix? Include a recipe tag and put the soup name on the label, and you’ve created a nutritious gift for cold winter days.

Oil and vinegar sets

There are so many flavors from blueberry-infused vinegar to a rosemary-infused extra-virgin olive oil. Fun flavors can encourage trying new foods and add excitement to eating healthy. For example, the combination of oil and vinegar could encourage eating more salad varieties this winter.

Remember, the holiday season centers around decadent food and drinks. Participating in potluck parties is what the season is all about, and as a result, Americans gain an average of 1.3 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. While that may not seem like a lot, research shows that people tend to only lose half of that pound afterward. Over the years, this will only add up. So, let’s be the one to promote being healthy and feeling good!!