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12 Days of Holiday Food Gifts

Give the gift of healthier edible goodies this season.
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

The perfect present for many people is a food gift. Think about it: Sooner or later, food gets consumed, and it won't collect dust sitting on a shelf or take up space in a closet.

The way I see it, you can never have too many festive food gifts on hand during the holiday season. You can bring them to parties as hostess gifts, or give them to friends or neighbors who stop by unexpectedly. When you don't quite know what to give to kind coworkers or talented teachers, give the gift of food. Everyone's got to eat!

To give you some ideas -- 12 to be exact -- I've put together 12 days' worth of holiday food gifts. But these are not your typical holiday offerings -- there's no fruitcake to joke about, no tacky tins of stale popcorn parked under the tree, no obligatory bottles of wine given as host or hostess gifts.

Some of these gifts you can order online, and some you assemble at home and deliver in person. They may not all appeal to you, but there should be something here for just about anyone.

1. On the first day of Christmas, my FOODIE gave to me … a tin of pomegranate tea.

There are several brands of Pomegranate Green tea out there. But the shiny red tin from The Republic of Tea makes an especially festive gift. It's the gift that keeps on giving, because each tin contains 50 tea bags to enjoy. Send it in a beautiful gift box or wrap with pretty cellophane or tissue paper. You could include a teacup or mug, too.

2. On the second day of Christmas, my FOODIE gave to me … 2 bottles clinging.

Instead of wine, give friends a Napa Valley company's best-selling duo: a bottle of Lemon Pepper Olive Oil and a bottle of Blackberry Vanilla Balsamic Vinegar. "When these two are paired together, the flavor just pops," says owner Tony Pennisi, who says the combination was discovered quite by accident.

This relatively young company, Big Paw (started in 1993) doesn't advertise. They sell their gourmet goods at farmer's markets across Northern California, and now online. They'll mail their products anywhere Federal Express will go. You can find them at

3. On the third day of Christmas, my FOODIE gave to me… 3 grinders grinding.

The Grinder Trio can be found for under $10 at your local supermarket. When you give this to someone, you're giving the gift of fresh flavor.

  • Nutmeg Mill by Drogheria Alimentari. There's nothing like freshly ground nutmeg topping your light eggnog or pumpkin pancakes or flavoring your coffee. The Nutmeg Mill makes this easy. You'll never buy ground nutmeg again.
  • Sea Salt Grinder by McCormick. If you're going to add salt to your food, it might as well be freshly ground. This way, you may be likely to use less of it.
  • Pepper Grinder by McCormick. Every healthful kitchen needs a pepper grinder. This multicolored peppercorn blend adds color and flavor to any dish without adding calories or sodium.

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