By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
Looking for gifts for chefs and the best food gifts? These cooking gifts for him and her and perfect gifts for food lovers. See which of these unique gifts to send is the perfect present.
It's here. It's the most wonderful time of year! I love to see the holiday cheer everywhere I go. While I was wrapping more presents today, my fiancé asked me, "does anyone love the holidays as much as you?"
Well, I sure hope so! I've been shopping for months because I start looking for presents while traveling and then continue through to file in with the last-minute shoppers.
I also love hand-making gifts. So you could say I have lots of gift ideas, and most of them will help inspire the recipients to be healthy. If you're looking for store-bought ideas, I have a list of RD-approved kitchen tools that you can order with a simple click.
Need a gift idea for the foodies in your life? Add these picks to your holiday gift list. I'n my gift guide, I've got you covered from stocking stuffers to splurges!
Love to give your loved ones healthy holiday gifts? If you need inspiration for healthy gift ideas, here are lots and lots of ideas for the wrapping! You'll even find last-minute ideas for foodies, as well as presents for chefs.
How to Find the Best Culinary Gift Ideas
Whenever I make a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond or Target, I always find myself in the home goods section, scoping out the newest kitchen gadgets and cooking essentials. Since I already have a well-stocked kitchen, I usually fight the temptation to impulse buy a blender or garlic chopper.
So maybe you're not a whiz in the kitchen. Not in the mood to deal with crowded stores, either? No worries. Order up these foodie-approved gifts to help your loved ones cook and eat healthier in the new year.
I use one of these items to serve up recipes like my flatbread pizza and other delicious and healthy meals all the time.
This is my favorite time of year, and I love shopping for presents as much as I l've to receive them. I'm a believer that every foodie in my life should receive hand-picked gifts, which is why I put together this holiday gift guide of my favorite food and kitchen finds to help you with healthy gifts with your holiday shopping!
But now that the holidays are right around the corner, I have an excuse to buy all of my friends and family the healthy gifts I'd want to keep for myself!
So what cooking tools and healthy eating goodies are worth giving your loved ones this season? I've got a few (read: lots!) ideas for you! I also have a list of expert-recommended healthy cookbooks to help your pals stay on track with their nutritional goals.
And if you have a few minutes to spend in the kitchen, I have ideas (some take just five minutes!) that you can whip up and wrap up in a jiffy. You'll definitely want to stock up on wrapping paper this year.
Whether you want to assist your bestie in becoming a meal prep master or help your sibling save time cooking, there's a must-have healthy gift gadget specifically for it. You'll find everything from small tools that work perfectly as stocking stuffers and big-ticket items that'll win over your mother-in-law.
Now, grab a mug of cider and let me help you with the last of your holiday tasks so you can be prepared for a healthy and nutritious new year!
Stocking Stuffers for Foodies
1. Pretty Nut Cracker
This stainless steel, heart-shaped piece is as functional as it is beautiful. It's a walnut splitter that'll help the mom in your life achieve healthy snack time.
Buy it: Alessi Nut Splitter
2. Lemon Zester
I love adding lemon or orange zest to recipes, and this grater makes doing so easy! It also works well with hard cheeses like Parmesan.
3. Reusable Muffin Cups
Mini is the perfect size for smaller portions of muffins, cupcakes, and even egg cups. A great stocking stuffer for any cook or baker, these mini FDA-approved silicone cups are reusable, resulting in less paper cup liner wastage. They're safe for both the oven and the freezer.
Buy it: Casabella Mini Muffin Cups
4. Cookie Spatula
This small silicone spatula is designed specifically to flip cookies. I also find that it's perfect for making omelets!
Buy it: OXO Cookie Spatula
5. Heart-Shaped Egg Ring
What's lovelier than a heart-shaped breakfast? Use this heat-resistant egg ring to whip up eggs or berry pancakes. Then make the egg ring part of the present!
Buy it: Norpro Silicone Heart Egg Rings
6. Hand-Held Spiralizer
Spiralizing is still all the rage, and this sweet handheld spiralizer allows you to cook up veggie-based versions of your favorite noodle dishes, like Pad Thai and "spaghetti" Bolognese.
7. Cake Tester
This simple tool allows you to test baked goods for doneness. It's thinner than a toothpick so won't leave a mark.
Buy it: OXO Cake Tester
8. Herb Scissors
Fresh herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (hey, there’s a song about that!) add so much flavor to dishes for very little calories. The caveat: They’re kind of a pain to chop. So use these herb scissors to quickly cut them into bite-size pieces. If you have extra, freeze them (in an ice-cube tray with water) for later.
Buy it: Jenaluca Herb Scissors
9. Silicone Egg Poacher
Poached eggs can be daunting to make (remember that scene in Julie & Julia?), but these egg poachers help make the process a breeze.
Buy it: OXO Silicone Egg Poacher
Edible Gifts for Foodies
10. Berry Jam
I always look for jams with fruit (in this case, wild Maine blueberries) as the first ingredient, not sugar. This jam tastes fab on scones or as a topper to brie.
11. Herb Growing Kit
I don't have a green thumb at all. But this herb in a can requires almost no work and yields mint and more for the picking.
12. Gourmet Mustard Set
I'm a sucker for low-cal condiments that pack a ton of flavor. This set includes all the dijon you could ever ask for: Original Dijon, Honey Dijon, Old Style Whole Grain Dijon, and Rich Country Dijon.
13. Truffle Salt
I'm kinda obsessed with truffles, and I'm a fan of adding a small amount of this flavor-packed truffle salt to omelets, grilled vegetables, roasted chickpeas, and more.
Buy it: Casina Rossa Truffle & Salt
14. Nutmeg Grinder
This spice mill is a find because it allows you to easily grind fresh nutmeg, adding a powerful flavor punch to baked goods, oatmeal, and more.
Buy it: Peugeot Daman Nutmeg Mill
15. No-Added Sugar Dark Chocolate
Here’s a chocolate that’s void of any added sugar. Yup, that’s right. The recipient will get 100% cacao wafers perfect for a little treat here or there.
Buy it: Imlak'esh Organics Cacao Wafers
16. Fresh Fruit Basket
Fresh fruit is really delicious. And these hand-picked pears and apples are super good for you! Give ‘em to the special someone in your life—and she can bite into them fresh, or slice them up for a deliciously easy grilled or roasted dessert.
17. Fancy Tea
Make tea time complete with this raspberry peach tea.
18. Fruit-Infused Vinegar
Vinegars add great flavor to salad dressing, and ones infused with fruits like fig and cherry boost it even more. You can also drizzle them on top of fresh fruit.
Bonus Foodie Gifts
Bust out your cooking and crafting supplies! Nothing's sweeter than receiving (and giving!) homemade presents. If you're not a craft superstar, you don't have to avoid personalized gifts from the heart!
These gifts are just as fun to make as they are to eat, and what's even better is that they land on the healthier side of things.
With budget-friendly options like these, you'll want to make extra to provide that last-minute holiday cheer. Your pet sitter, favorite coworker, and even your personal trainer will be excited when your DIY healthy eating gift ideas make an unexpected appearance.
Gifts for a Pretty and Organized Kitchen
19. Classy Serving Tray
I enjoy hosting almost as much as I do cooking and baking, so I was excited to find this stoneware serving platter. It's oven safe, perfect for easily reheating gourmet pizza slices and other appetizers.
20. Knife Block
I have a lot of knives that didn't come in a set. It would be difficult to store them if not for this sleek slotless knife block, with flexible plastic rods that settle around the knives to secure them in place.
21. Anti-Fatigue Kitchen Mat
I love this cushy mat because it reduces the stress and discomfort that can come from hours of standing in the kitchen. It's a good pick if you're going in with your siblings for a larger gift.
22. Tablet Stand
When I cook and bake, I'll often load a recipe onto my tablet and tweak it to make it healthier. I may sub in applesauce, pumpkin puree, or blended cottage cheese for some of the oil or butter. That's why this holder is a find: The angled stand is ideal for reading recipes, and the water-resistant shell protects devices from minor ingredient splashes.
Buy it: Logi Protective Case for iPad
23. Knife-Protecting Cutting Board
Softer than most cutting boards, this one is made of pretty Japanese cypress, yielding a product that gives as you cut so slow down how fast your knives dull. The size offers an excellent canvas for slicing and dicing.
24. Floral Tea Towels
Make tea time even more precious with floral tea towels. This gift is great on its own—or amp it up with a box of your recipient's favorite tea.
Functional Gifts for Foodies
25. Cappuccino Maker
I love cappuccinos and lattes and am happy to whip them up at home! I can do this, thanks to a gourmet coffee maker. Although this gift is a definite splurge, it allows the recipient to be her own barista and customize a drink with regular milk, pistachio milk, and more.
Buy it: Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista
26. Olive Oil Pourer
This mister is space efficient, with storage slots for both oil and vinegar. It also features adjustable setting so you can customize a light salad dressing. Plus, you can use the all-oil setting for misting pots and pans.
27. Stylish Hand Mixer
For someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, I've waited awhile to get my own hand mixer. That's why I'm glad this beauty exists.
Buy it: Mueller Electric Hand Mixer
28. High-Speed Blender
I've been obsessed with smoothies lately: They're the perfect solution for busy mornings, and I even freeze and eat them as dessert sometimes. This compact blender comes with to-go cups and blends ingredients into an ultra-smooth meal.
Buy it: NutriBullet Pro
29. Silicone Baking Mat
This non-stick mat makes it easy to roast veggies like eggplant slices without burning the bottoms. You'll save calories since you won't need any oil with this mat. You can also use it to cook meat and to bake cookies.
30. 5-Blade Spiralizer
I love spaghetti squash, but it's harder to find during certain seasons. That's why this vegetable spiralizer is a great tool: You can turn zucchini, carrots, and more into low-cal "noodles." Then top with a pesto, marinara, or cottage cheese Italian herb sauce. This spiralizer comes with five blades, allowing you to choose from flat ribbons, angel hair, and many other cuts.
Buy it: Paderno Spiralizer 5-Blade
31. Nonstick Wok
I waited years to get a wok. It's now one of my favorite kitchen tools: It cooks my tofu and veggies at a constant, even heat, without requiring any oil. Instead, I use vegetable broth as the base.
32. High-Tech Bread Maker
This bread maker couldn't be easier to use. You just place the ingredients in the machine, choose the level of browning, and two to three hours later you have fresh bread! Bonus: The machine has settings for dietary needs, from salt-free to gluten-free bread.
Buy it: T-Fal Actibread
33. Microwave Popcorn Maker
Hello, movie night! When you pop your own kernels, like in this convenient device, you get to add your own low-calorie flavors like Italian seasoning to jazz it up, plus making your own is less expensive than buying store-bought. Did I mention the gift is dishwasher safe?
Buy it: OXO Microwave Popcorn Popper
34. Quick-Stir Pitcher
Good-bye, fruit punch. Hello, health-friendly fruit-infused water! Just add citrus wedges and berries to this pitcher, give it a quick mix with the plunger—and you have a seemingly fancy beverage to serve up at a holiday brunch!
Buy it: Pampered Chef Quick Stir Pitcher
35. Vacuum Sealer
Food waste is unfortunate. But moisture-rich eats like steak and grapes may last a lot longer (up to five times, as reported by Foodsaver) when vacuum sealed. Consider going in together with your siblings or Dad on this one, since it’s on the pricier side.
Buy it: FoodSaver
More Bonus Foodie Gifts
Trying to find a nutritious recipe online can be overwhelming, so make it easier for your pals to toss together healthy dishes by giving them one of the cookbooks featured in my article for The Healthy and in this extended list of healthy eating cookbooks on my blog.
Don't worry, each of these cookbooks received
glowing reviews from nutrition experts, so you can be confident in the recipes and their good-for-you attributes. Want more healthy-eating inspo? Gift your loved ones with my mix-and-match meal
More Healthy Gift Ideas
If you didn't get all the ideas you wanted for the perfect gift from the above list, here are some more ideas to help encourage a healthy lifestyle. You'll find cooking gifts for men and women, plus the best presents for professional chefs and casual chefs, as well as foodie friends and home cooks:
- birthday cake stand
- pretty rolling pin
- sous vide cooker
- easy-to-clean cookie trays
- pressure cooker
- small batch caramel
- locally made maple syrup
- alarm clock
- subscription box (try a fruits and veggies box, a healthy meal kit box, or even a bride-to-be box!)
- movie night gift basket
- gift card (for coffee, workout classes, etc.)
- healthy snacks variety pack
- relaxing essential oil
- water bottle
- gym bag
- yoga mat
- foam roller
- resistance bands
- hands-free phone set-up
This blog post was updated in August 2020. A version of this article originally appeared on WeightWatchers.com.
- 15 Bestselling Healthy Cookbooks on Amazon, TheHealthy.com
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I'd love to hear from you! What are your favorite holiday gifts for foodies? Let me know if you have any healthy holiday gift ideas to add to this list! Which healthy gift ideas have your loved ones enjoyed the most? What gift are you giving the chef in your life?
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