I’ve been getting asked quite a bit about healthy gift ideas for the holidays. I like to give presents that my family and friends will truly use and enjoy, but that are also in line with my high standards for healthy living. So this week I took pen and paper in hand and developed the following list to help you, my dear readers, with your holiday shopping:

1. Annual Park Pass to the Delaware State Parks. Even in the winter months, the parks have some wonderful programs for individuals of all ages. 2011 park passes are on sale now: http://www.destateparks.com/fees/. ;

2. Lunch tote. I encourage ALL of my clients to “brown bag” it. I like the sacs from “Haute Lunch” (www.hautelunch.com). A portion of their proceeds goes to programs that combat childhood obesity. Zip in a cold gel pack to keep cold stuff cold and avoid foodborne illness.

3. Personal Chef Services. Everyone would appreciate a delicious meal prepared just for them. Chef Kris Etze, based out of Rehoboth Beach, offers a variety of packages to please even the pickiest eaters. She also teaches monthly cooking classes (makes a great gift idea for families or employees). www.abracadinner.com

4. Juicer. Juicing is a great way to increase one’s intake of fruits and veggies (especially children). Just be sure the juicer juices the WHOLE fruit/veg – you want enough power to pulverize the peel for all that fantastic fiber. I like the Omega Juicer 8003 Nutrition Center from Kitchen and Company, located in Lewes, or check out their website at www.thekitchenstore.com. ;

5. Yogurt Maker. While we’re on kitchen gadgets, Kitchen and Company also offers a variety of yogurt makers. These make a wonderful gift for families, newly marrieds, or college students!

6. Magazine Subscription. Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Shape, Self, Fitness, Cooking Light, Eating Well, the list goes on. For the hardcore nutrition junkie – Nutrition Action from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (www.cspinet.com). It’s the gift that keeps giving all year long!

7. Gym Membership. The ultimate get-fit gift. Many fitness facilities have great holiday specials going on right now (check out Quest Fitness in Lewes). Stash the certificate in a shiny new gym bag (you’ll find great ones at Nike outlet in Rehoboth) to spark some serious motivation.

8. GPS training product. A.K.A. a Garmin watch (www.garmin.com) is a great little gadget for the aspiring athlete (or inspired beginner). And how about a gift certificate for some new kicks and running apparel from Rehoboth Beach Running Company? Owner MaryBeth Evans will analyze their gait and heel strike, and recommend the best-fitting footwear for their feet.

9. Cookbook. For those with little ones: Kids’ Fun and Healthy Cookbook by Nicola Graimes and Howard Shooter; for the dieters: Bob Greene’s The Best Life Diet Cookbook; for the men in your life: Men’s Health Muscle Chow (try Browseabout Books in Rehoboth, Atlantic Books also in Rehoboth, or Booksandcoffee in Dewey). Wrap it in a festive apron (from Bella Luna in Rehoboth) and kitchen towels (pretty ones at Lewes Gourmet Foods).

10. Wine and chocolate. It has to be red and dark (70% or more cacao), respectively. In moderation. Shop Teller Wines in Lewes for the spirit and Rocky Mountain Chocolates (also in Lewes) for the sweet. Indulge their senses with beautiful wine glasses (try Stepping Stone in Lewes) and fun dessert plates (from Mod Cottage in Rehoboth). •

Lisa Harkins, RD, LDN is the owner of Ideal Nutrition and Fitness LLC (www.idealnutritionandfitness.com). You can reach her at lisa@idealnutritionandfitness.com or 302-388-2856.

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