As each year passes, it seems that we all come to the same dilemma around the holidays about what to give as gifts to family and friends.  Sure, you could ask them what they want or listen closely for clues to those material things they desire, but it doesn’t seem to feel like you are giving them what they could truly cherish.  That is why this year I challenge everyone to give gifts of good health.

*Cooking Classes: As the saying goes, “If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you feed him for life.”  Giving a friend or family member a set of cooking classes so they can learn to appreciate and enjoy food more, cook more at home for themselves instead of eating out, and in turn learn healthy habits that can last them a lifetime.

*Help prepare a healthy meal:  If you know how to cook well and you want to spend more time with your loved ones, offer to prepare a healthy meal with them.  You will not only be teaching them ways to cook healthy recipes at home for themselves, but will be able to spend more quality time with them.

*Healthy recipe basket: You could make a fun theme gift by taking a healthy recipe that you think your loved one would enjoy, print the recipe on a nice laminated stock card paper, and fill a basket with some of the  dry ingredients, seasonings, oils, vinegars, and utensils that will be needed to make the recipe.  Add a few rolled up decorative napkins for filler in the basket to add an extra stylish touch.  Make it a tradition to gift a new recipe each holiday.

*Gift fitness!: Gift your loved one a new pair of walking or running shoes with socks to match, a pair of yoga or running pants, a set of personal training or fitness classes that for them or for the both of you to attend together, or a registration to a race or charity walk that you can make into a day out together.

*De-stressing gifts: A mani-pedi, a massage, a facial, or a whole day at the spa may be the perfect gift for that loved one of yours that seems to need a break from the daily grind.  Other de-stressing gifts include a set of yoga classes, a “de-stressing basket of candles, bubble bath, a CD of relaxing music, some herbal tea, and a pair of warm slippers, or a “night out” package that includes you babysitting or pet-sitting for your loved one along with a gift certificate for dinner and/or a movie for them and a guest of their choice.