Healthy Holiday Gifts to Give and Get

'Tis the season to buy gifts for those who are near and dear to you. Why not celebrate your loved ones by giving presents that promote wellness?

"After the holidays, everyone is all geared up to start getting in shape," says Alison Massey, RD, CDE, of Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. "It's great to give them a gift that helps them jump-start an exercise program, or a healthy food gift.  This type of gift promotes healthy eating and fitness."

 If you're on a budget (under $50)

Resistance bands make a great gift and make getting in shape easy. They come in different resistance levels, can be wrapped around your ankles, calves, or knees, and strengthen and tone your legs and hips. You can find a set of Aylio resistance bands for around $20.

Select an assortment of spices or concoct your own seasoning mixes for cooking, suggests Massey. "Some spices are high in antioxidants and you can put in a recipe along with it," she says. "Or you could put together a package of spices and nuts, or homemade trail mix."

Nothing jazzes up the taste of a dish more than freshly ground spices and herbs. The Krups coffee, herb & spice mill ($29.99) makes it simple. You just toast spices in a skillet, cool slightly, then place into the spice grinder and press a button. Look for the unit in department stores and major retailers.

Another fun food gift is a Yonanas maker, an easy to use kitchen appliance that turns frozen fruit and vegetables into a dessert that looks (and tastes) like soft serve ice cream. It's $49.99.

A set of portion control bowls or plates can be helpful for individuals trying to lose weight. They're especially handy for those who take lunch to work, which can save money as well as calories. A set of microwaveable ceramic portion control bowls (with easy to read measurements on the inside of each bowl) is around $20.

If you want to spend a little more ($50 to $100)

If your loved one already is into exercise, consider buying her a digital sports watch that can help her keep track of her laps on the track or in the pool. Some even have a light, so if you are running at night or early in the morning you can take a quick look at the time, and some are water-resistant to a depth of 100 feet.  A stylish digital sports watch can be had for $40 to $80.

Non-stick skillets for the kitchen make it easy for a cook to whip up egg white and veggie frittatas, stir-fries, omelets, and more. The Chris Freytag 15 by 11 inch non-stick black health grill is $59.76.

If the sky's the limit: ($100 and up)

Give your loved one a series of sessions with a personal trainer, or sign her up for a cooking class that teaches healthy cooking. Often, these classes end with a meal that the students cook together.

You may also give someone you love a consultation with a registered dietitian. In just one session, she can offer valuable tips and techniques for how to reduce fat and carbs in the diet and how to and bump up consumption of fruits and vegetables.

A powerful juicer makes it easy to consume enough fruits and vegetables. Kale, carrots, cucumbers, apples, and celery are just one energizing combination to try. The vitamin-packed juices are easy to make with a juicer such as the Omega Vertical Masticating HD Juicer ($379.99).

Alison Massey, MS, RD, LDN, CDE reviewed this article.