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Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

With Christmas just days away, many of us scramble to get presents together for friends and family. I tend to gravitate towards giving gifts that are either useful or consumable, like kitchen gadgets or something homemade.

But if you opt for a food-related present, it’s easy to get lost in the aisles of Sur La Table or the endless reviews on Amazon.

To reduce the gifting overwhelm, I’ve compiled some of my favorite healthy holiday gift ideas. Maybe one of these will be the perfect nudge to get your loved ones to take that first baby step to eating healthier in the new year.

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas:

1. GEFU Spiral Cutter

We all know pasta isn’t exactly the healthiest dinner, but it’s so damn good. This little gadget is like oversized pencil sharpener that can turn zucchini or carrots into vegetable pasta. (Here’s how to use it to make noodles out of zucchini!) While I’m not usually a fan of kitchen tools that have only one use, this serves a purpose that no other tool can, it’s small enough to fit into a kitchen drawer (unlike those standing spiral slicers), and it’s a breeze to clean.

GEFU Spirelli Spiral Cutter

2. Microplane Zester

This razor sharp tool is essential for grating nutmeg over holiday drinks, turning garlic or ginger into an aromatic paste (which you could use in curried cauliflower or carrot ginger squash soup), effortlessly shredding Parmesan cheese, and zesting citrus.

The fine shavings from the above ingredients are often the secret to adding real food flavor without chemical-laden seasoning packets.

Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater

3. A Good Knife

If you’re like most Americans, “eat more vegetables” is on your annual New Year’s resolution list, knowing full well that it’s not gonna happen. You can guarantee it by hacking away at them with a dull knife.

Seriously, invest some money into a nice multipurpose knife and care for it like your first-born child. You’ll be surprised how much more enjoyable it is to prep dinner when you have the right tool. My suggestion is a santoku knife, a design perfected by the Japanese that is better than your standard chef’s knife. It doesn’t have to be super pricy either, though fancy knives are a wise kitchen investment.

Already have a great knife? Get it sharpened before the holidays or give a cute hand-written coupon offering to pay for knife sharpening.

J.A. Henckels International Fine Edge Pro 2-Piece Hollow Edge Santoku Set

4. Mandolin

This little gadget makes slicing vegetables a breeze. It’s especially helpful when you want to cut thin slices. I use mine to cut carrots (for fermented carrots with ginger and jalapeno), fennel (for shaved fennel salad), and root vegetables. Keep in mind – it’s not a replacement for a good knife and it be tough to slice hard vegetables, like beets.

Word to the wise: always use the safety guard so you don’t lose a digit!

Swissmar Borner Mandoline

5. Cast Iron Pan

There’s at least one cast iron pan permanently sitting out on my stove, partly because I’m lazy, but mostly because I use it every single day. If you’ve noticed friends or family members still using toxic non-stick pans, give them a gift that’ll last a lifetime for a mere $20 or so. (Seriously, these things are indestructible!)

Plus, cast iron pans have numerous health benefits, one of which is fortifying your food with iron! This is great news for people at risk for iron deficiency, like pregnant women.

Lodge 8-inch Cast Iron Skillet

If you like any of these gift ideas, feel free to check ‘em out via the affiliate links above. Your purchase helps support my blog.

Also, if you have other great healthy gift ideas, share them in the comments section below. We can all benefit from your gift-giving creativity.

Put these new kitchen gadgets to work!

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Until next week,


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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.


Leave a comment
  1. Great ideas, Lily!

    I recently picked up the 5″ Santkou knife you feature to compliment my Wustof 7 in. chef knife (which was less rocker on the blade) and I absolutely LOVE it. It’s much more versatile for “everyday” chopping and herbs because it’s a bit smaller and ridiculously light. I recommend that everyone have a high-end chef knife and paring knife in their life — everything else is just stuff.

    Also love your suggestion for a mandolin – they’re only scary until you try one and then they’re always worth the cupboard space (um, hello homemade sweet potato fries for a special occasion!)

    • I agree. I have a 5-inch and 7-inch santoku and I use them for 90% of all the chopping I do in the kitchen. I generally use it in lieu of chef’s knife. Then pick up the remaining work with a paring knife.

  2. Great ideas! I love them… I still want to buy the zucchini noodle maker. Always interested to find out other cooks/chefs knife selection. I got comfortable with a chef knife and can’t work easily with an Asian knife… love cast iron and always recommend for extra iron for those who need it. Happy holidays!

    • Veggie noodles are so much fun! The gadget I mention is so small that it doesn’t clutter up the kitchen. Definitely worth having on hand.

      Happy holidays, Nour!

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