Authors: Registered Dietitians
(HealthCastle.com) I love food. I love sharing food. I know that I have an influence on food choices that others around me make. Research shows that cues in our environment have a strong influence on our behaviour. That means that our surroundings – both who we spend time with and our physical surroundings – can influence the food and activity choices we make everyday! It feels so good to me when I give a gift that may help someone I care about try new foods and experience that great feeling that comes from living healthier. So, why not wrap something under the tree that can help someone you love be surrounded by ‘cues’ that help make the healthy choice the easy choice?
Healthy Eating Gift # 1: Recipe ideas...Cookbooks
“What should I cook for dinner?” I find that this is one of the biggest challenges people experience when getting food on the table – Who doesn’t need ideas to get them started? Here are a few of my favorite picks. Dietitians of Canada has published 3 cookbooks; Cook Great Food, Simply Great Food, and more recently Cook, all available on Amazon. These books also provide many health tips and information to guide healthier and tastier food options. If you are looking for something local buy Julie Van Rosendaals new book Spilling the Beans, also available on Amazon. OR how about make a homemade cookbook with your favorite recipes. You can find a do it yourself cookbook template here.
Healthy Eating Gift #2: Good Quality Kitchenware
I believe the tools in my kitchen make it easier and more enjoyable for me to cook. Good quality basics go a long way! A great knife and cutting board for meal preparation, for example, make chopping veggies painless. Although there are many places to buy knives, Knifewear in Inglewood has a fine selection of high quality Japanese cutting knives and very knowledgeable staff who can answer any knife-related questions you might have.
Try tools that add bursts of flavor to cooking like William Sonoma’s lemon/orange zester, cheese mill, and salt and pepper mills. Pop into Savour Fine Foods and Kitchenware in Inglewood or The Cookbook Co. Cooks downtown for other unique ideas. Help equip a kitchen so that it’s easier and fun to cook.
Healthy Eating Gift #3: Gift Certificate...for a Cooking Class or Consult with a Dietitian.
Calgary offers some fantastic cooking classes – Cookbook Co. Cooks, ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen, Williams-Sonoma! I have done many of the classes at the Cookbook Co Cooks. From learning how to make soups, to Thai food, appetizers, bread making, basic knife skills to creating the most exotic ethnic dishes, purchase a gift certificate at Cookbook Co. Cooks. Share the art of making food taste fantastic! If you think your loved one would rather learn more about nourishment and health, why not offer a gift certificate to work with a Registered Dietitian?
Healthy Eating Gift #4. Window Herb Garden
Why not bring flavour, fragrance and nutrition to someone’s kitchen. Indoor herb gardens are an easy way to spice up anyone’s culinary repertoire while adding antioxidants. They can liven up food and help cut down on salt and sugar. Fresh herbs like oregano, rosemary, parsley, basil and mint offer great aromas to the kitchen. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh herbs? Did you know that, compared to 1 cup of ice berg lettuce, raw fresh parsley gives ~3 times as much fiber, 8 times the calcium, 16 times the iron, 4 times the potassium, 50 times the vitamin C, 5 times the folate and 17 times the vitamin A? Herbs packs a powerful antioxidant punch! Window Herb Gardens require minimal care! Visit your local Home Depot Garden Centre or purchase an indoor herb kit online here.
Give the gift of health! Help a loved one experience the limitless rewards that healthy eating brings! Make the healthy choice the easier choice. Happy Holiday Shopping! What other ideas do you have for giving the gift of health?
Written by Heidi Piovoso BSc, RD, Associate Dietitian with HealthCastle Calgary and Kristiyn Hall MSc, RD, Director of HealthCastle Calgary