This holiday (and throughout the year) delight friends and family with gifts that are fun, but can still help them be fit and healthy. Here’s a list inspired by creative, healthy gifts I’ve received that helped me to try something new or had a lasting impact on my health habits.
I’ve also drawn on recipes and tips for getting active from AICR – but you can match your talents and creativity with your friend or family member’s interests for personal and meaningful gifts.
A Sampler of Specialty Whole Grains. This is perfect for slightly adventurous new or experienced cooks. Purchase small bags of amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat, add recipes for each grain and wrap in a baking pan. Recipe example: Quinoa and Pomegranate Salad with Asparagus and Walnuts
Gourmet popcorn. Look for the colorful blue and red varieties to make an attractive box of specialty popcorn. You could add some dried fruit, nuts and pumpkin seeds along with a recipe for Popcorn Trail Mix.
Cooking Lessons from You. This can be a great way to spend some time with a young child or anyone who wants to learn how to cook. You can create a curriculum of simple recipes or elegant menus – either way, everyone’s a winner with time together and a delicious snack or meal at the end.
An Exercise Playlist or Audiobook. If you have a talent for coming up with the right tune, make a fun and inspiring playlist for your loved one who’s just getting started with regular physical activity. Or if they love to read – find appropriate audio books they can listen to while they’re exercising. I listen to books only when I’m at the gym – it helps me get there, and stay longer sometimes!
Dance Lessons for You and a Friend. If you and someone special enjoy dancing, sign up to learn new dance styles. Or if you haven’t tried, but think you’d enjoy dancing, try a class for the basic steps. Dancing is a great way to get some physical activity and have a great time.
The New American Plate Cookbook. AICR developed this cookbook a few years ago – it has great recipes with beautiful photos. Or for a cancer survivor or caregiver who would enjoy an inspiring and informative book, try this one by Registered Dietitian Diana Dyer: A Dietitian’s Cancer Story, Information & Inspiration for Recovery & Healing.
Alice Bender, MS, RD is Nutrition Communications Manager for the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). As AICR spokesperson, Alice translates nutrition science into practical advice for consumers, health professionals and the media with a focus on diet, weight and physical activity and cancer prevention and survivorship. She helps develop and author patient educational materials as well as online and other publications for AICR.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. For evidence-based information on everyday choices that can reduce our chances of getting cancer visit www.aicr.org.