Healthy and Safe Holiday Gifts

Our quick list helps you find fun, healthy holiday gifts for kids both big and small.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 28, 2010
From the WebMD Archives

Fun, safe, healthy holiday gifts: Think this triple threat is impossible to find? Think again.

With a little help from the experts, we've put together this quick list of seasonal gifts that offer healthy fun for big kids and small.

Healthy Holiday Gifts for Grownups

Mail Order: For food lovers of every stripe there's a cornucopia of clubs that let you give the gift of healthy, exotic noshes -- for just the holidays, or all year. A brief dip in this vast sea offered up monthly clubs featuring: honey, herbs, salsa, mustard, olives, pickles, dried fruit, soup, nuts, oil and vinegar, hot sauce, vegetables, dark chocolates, and even organic cheeses and garlic.

Coffee Grinder: Have a chef in the family? This device not only grinds java beans, it will also mill dried herbs and spices, nuts, seeds, grains, and bread for breadcrumbs -- perfect for preparing holiday feasts.

Hot-Air Popcorn Popper: Have a friend who loves munching during movies? This gadget lets them enjoy fresh-popped popcorn without added oil or butter. One cup of popped corn has only 31 calories and even a bit of fiber, so your pal can munch merrily until the last credit rolls.

Pedometer: From sleek and simple, to nearly bulging with a brass band, pedometers help wearers keep movement on their mind. All of them count the steps you take, while some can also estimate calorie burn, distance traveled, speed, and even take your pulse.

Healthy Holiday Gifts for Kids

December is Safe Toys and Gifts month, so before you buy check out these toy safety tips from the nonprofit group Safe Kids Worldwide:

  • Choose toys appropriate for a child's age
  • Avoid toys with small removable parts, a possible choking hazard
  • Look for high-quality design and construction
  • Keep kids' hearing safe: Avoid toys that produce loud noises.
  • For kids under 8, skip toys with heating elements or sharp points and edges
  • Avoid toys with strings and straps longer than 7 inches -- they pose a strangulation risk.

With these tips in mind, check out our toy and gift ideas for your favorite kids:

Books and Blocks: These toys suit the 1 to 3 set, as do fit-together toys, push-and-pull toys, and pounding toys.

Swing: For kids 3 to 5, active toys like swings, slides, and tricycles are popular, as are nontoxic art supplies and books.

Bounce: Balls of assorted size and color get kids of all ages playing and moving. Throw in a net, some rackets, or a hoop and you've got game!

Kitchen Gadgets: For that budding chef how about a personalized apron or his or her own kitchen tools -- think kid-sized spatulas, bowls, and whisks.

Sports Gear: Older kids, 9 and above, love team games. So go for active toys and good quality sports equipment: jump ropes, basketballs, soccer balls, bicycles, and skateboards. Don't forget the appropriate safety gear for each!

Healthy, safe, holiday gifts: This year, it's in the bag!

Show Sources

SOURCES: American Dietetic Association: "Healthy Chef's Holiday Gift List." WebMD Feature: "How to Choose Healthy Holiday Gifts." USDA Nutritional Database: "Popcorn, Air-Popped." Safe Kids Worldwide: "Playing It Safe This Holiday Season."

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