10 healthy gift buying tips

XmasGiftHealthHaloThe best healthy gifts are the ones that will be used.

A Health Halo gift just seems to make so much sense.  Your intentions are good.   The gift is a sign that you care about the recipient’s health.  Assuming the gift improves the person’s health, it’s a win-win situation.  But… maybe not.  Before you purchase a health-oriented gift, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will she/he actually use the gift?
  • Will the recipient feel like you’re nagging, or worse, insulting her?

Or, as a recent article in USA Today describes it: How to say ‘I care’ not ‘you are fat‘.  Of course, if the person has actually asked for a certain item, that’s a sign that the person intends to use it, so you can feel confident your gift will be appreciated.

Here are 10 ideas for Health Halo gifts:

  1. Cookbooks: Make sure the gift recipient does actually cook.  A good sign: the person owns other cookbooks that are well used.  Same goes for cooking magazines.
  2. Special kitchen equipment: Don’t buy someone a blender to make smoothies, unless you are sure the person (1) likes smoothies and (2) has time to make smoothies, including purchasing the necessary fruits and vegetables.
  3. Activity tracker: This seems like a no-brainer when it comes to weight loss and fitness goals.  Easy to set up and use.  The only drawback would be if the person saw it as nagging.
  4. Gym membership: make sure the person has time and inclination to actually go to that gym.
  5. Healthy food items: Be sure the person will actually eat the foods.  Don’t give expensive olive oil to someone who never cooks.  Perhaps nuts or dried fruit are a better choice in that situation.
  6. Diet book: Just… no.  Not even if it was requested, in my humble opinion.  And don’t use the holidays to push your own personal food and diet agendas by giving diet books to unsuspecting friends and family.
  7. Diet program membership: see #7.  The only time I see this working is if the gift recipient really wants to try the program but has limited funds available.  And stick to reputable plans like Weight Watchers, not fly-by-night fasting or cleanse programs.  Another possibility is a consultation with a registered dietitian.
  8. Spa visit: Given the expense of a multi-day health or weight loss spa program, this would be an extravagant gift, best for someone who has expressed interest in this type of experience.
  9. Calorie tracker app: Most calorie tracker systems have a free membership option.  The paid memberships include more services or information, and might be worth gifting, IF you believe the gift recipient is going to use it.  Calorie trackers require daily input with some attention to detail and ability to use the information.  This might be a good gift if you know the person has already been using the free membership.  It might look insulting to a person who has never tracked calories and isn’t inclined to devote time everyday to doing it.
  10. Healthy cooking classes: The key questions is this: does the person actually cook, or have time or reason to cook?  A couple or someone with a family might find classes useful.  Single people who live alone and lead busy lives might have very little reason to cook on a regular basis, so a well-intentioned healthy cooking class might not be that helpful.

My particular favorites: healthy food gift baskets, full of great items for people who will use them.  If you think it will be appreciated, put one of the latest activity tracker gadgets in the basket, next to the dark chocolate.

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