Let’s admit it: buying gifts is stressful. It can be a lot of pressure to get your loved one exactly what they want, while maintaining a budget and making sure the gift reflects your appreciation for them. So, this year, consider getting creative and tailoring your gifts to your loved ones’ healthy living goals! 

Many will make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier or count calories. These goals are much easier to accomplish when you have the right tools in hand. You can be the person to provide those tools to your loved ones this year! 

COVID-19 doesn’t have to put a damper on gifting. Shopping (and giving) doesn’t need to happen in person. Instead, you can buy something online, and in some cases, have it gift wrapped and shipped directly to your loved one’s door, maintaining your social distance. 

Here are some ideas: 

A Blender or Food Processor

You never realize how much a good blender or food processor can help in the kitchen until you have one! 

According to the CDC, only one in ten adults gets enough fruits and vegetables in their diet. Federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least one and a half to two cups of fruit per day and two to three cups of veggies. Many of us fall short of that! 

Blenders and food processors can take those big veggies down to crumb-size. This makes them easy to add to sauces, casseroles, meatballs and baked goods. You can also pre-chop fresh ingredients and freeze them so they’re ready to go when you’re ready to cook. This works great on onions, garlic and carrots.  

Price Range: Blenders or food processors can range anywhere from $25 to $100, depending on the bells and whistles.

An Electric or Outdoor Grill

By cooking meat on a grill, much of the fat and grease fall onto the coals. This results in a lower fat content vs. fried or pan-seared meats. Grilling also brings out the flavor in even the most flavorless foods. You can turn “boring” foods like zucchini, squash, Brussels sprouts and broccoli into family favorites. Try throwing a pizza, some grapes or even cookies on the grill for a special treat. You can also use the heat from the grill to roast marshmallows. 

Consider giving your loved one a meat thermometer to go with their grill. This can help ensure that they cook their meat thoroughly. Underdone meat can make you sick! 

Price Range: Depending on the brand and size, a beginner’s electric or outdoor grill can cost anywhere from $50 to $300.

Storage/Portion Control Containers

Studies show that portion control is important for anyone on a diet or watching what they eat. When presented with larger portions, people consume more calories than they think. Cooking at home will likely leave you with leftovers, making it easy to go back for seconds.  

Reusable glass containers are all the rage right now because they are environmentally friendly and durable and can help with portion control. A good quality set that won’t stain, crack or break is a great healthy eating tool. Glass is also safe to put in the microwave, so reheating leftovers will be easier, too. 

Price Range: Sets of several containers in a variety of sizes, with lids, can cost anywhere from $30 to $70.

Non-Stick Cooking Pans 

Non-stick pans can help you avoid adding extra fat and calories from oil and butter. By relying on your pan to make sure nothing sticks, you’ll save yourself calories.  

But stay away from aluminum and Teflon products. The FDA warns that these products contain toxic chemicals called PFAS that may lead to long-term health problems. Instead, buy tempered glass, ceramic, cast iron or stainless steel, which, if cleaned properly, can all provide a non-stick cooking surface. 

Price Range: A good set of non-stick pans cost under $100 online.

Visit qualchoice.com for more health and fitness tips. 

All information courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). | Price ranges of each item from amazon.com