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December 9, 2016

HEALTHY DIY HOLIDAY GIFTS

Scrambling for last minute gift ideas for friends and family? Look no further than your local grocery and liquor store to create something truly unique, customizable and healthy. Customizing gift baskets for friends and family is a nice way to create something personalized while also staying within your budget!

Here are a few Do-It-Yourself (DIY) gift basket ideas to create for your favorite foodie family and friends:

TEA TIME
The winter months are the best time for a hot beverage. Loaded with antioxidants, tea is one of the best low-calorie choices for hydration during the winter months.  Pack your tea time tote with the following items to create a drinking experience fit for a queen or at least your best-friend.

  • Loose leaf teas
  • Tea Strainer
  • Holiday Tea Towel
  • Local Honey
  • Fresh Lemons
  • Lemon Storage Container
  • Vintage Tea Cup

SOUP AND SWEETS
Provide a savory and sweet treat by creating mason-jar recipes for friends and family. Mason-jar soups are perfect for a quick evening meal and can be assembled inexpensively with your favorite quick cooking grain, beans, lentils and spices. Create a custom recipe card with instructions on how to prepare the soup at home. Add a simple layered mason-jar cookie recipe for a sweet ending to the meal. Consider swapping traditional white flour to whole wheat pastry flour and add oats to boost the fiber content of the cookies. Don’t forget to include instructions for additional ingredients required to complete the cookies along with the preparation method and cooking time. Consider the follow items for your soup and sweets package:

  • Mason Jars
  • Soup Ingredients Ideas: Beans, Lentils, Quick Cooking Grains and Spices
  • Cookie Ingredients Ideas: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Oats, Brown Sugar, White Sugar, Nuts, Dried Fruit, Chocolate Chips, Baking Soda and Baking Powder.
  • Recipe Cards
  • Holiday Napkins

CHEERS TO COCKTAILS
Holiday cocktails are a festive way to enjoy the season of celebrating. Consider showing your friends how to make  ‘lighter’ versions of their favorites with ingredients and recipes for ‘skinny’ cocktails. You might consider adding a few of the following items to your basket:

  • Cocktail or Shot Glasses
  • Holiday Cocktail Napkins
  • Cocktail Mixer
  • Fresh Lemons, Limes or Pomegranate
  • Recipes for low-calorie cocktails

SAVORY MEDITERRANEAN SNACKS
Savory snacks and appetizers are such a nice break from all the holiday sweets. Creating a Mediterranean-style snack basket also ensures you are giving family and friends better-for-you fats versus baked goods that are often full of saturated fats. Consider the following items to create a Mediterranean-themed basket:

  • Marinated olives
  • Spiced Nuts
  • Herb Infused Vinegars and Oils
  • Whole Wheat Baguette

WELLNESS AND MEDITATION
Need a non-food related gift idea? Create a wellness basket filled with items that can help with relaxation and mental health. Try including a few of these items:

  • Journal
  • Soy-based aromatherapy candle
  • Relaxation Coloring Book with Colored Pencils
  • Yoga DVD

Don’t forget to spread the message of good health and wellness to your friends and family this holiday season!

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ALISON MASSEY

Alison Massey MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes and owner of The Simple Ingredient www.thesimpleingredient.com a nutrition private practice in Frederick, MD.

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