Healthy, Heavenly, Homemade Food Gifts

By:  Jan Wade-Miller

Tis the season to be giving! Do you want to give gifts to special people in your life to show them how much you care? How about trying your hand at healthy homemade food gifts that will bring you and your grandchildren together at the same time? Making healthy food gifts in the kitchen with the grandkids can be a lot of fun and rewarding while avoiding interfering with friends’ healthy eating habits. The gifts can be simple, inexpensive and fun for the children to help in making while teaching them about healthy foods.

Here are some easy-to-make food gift hints:

Combine a variety of nuts in their shells in a clear or colored cellophane bag and have the grandkids tie them with holiday ribbons.

Dark chocolate in small amounts has been shown to have many health benefits. Studies have shown dark chocolate provides flavanols, which are compounds that act as antioxidants. Flavonols can also lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and reduce LDL cholesterol (i.e., the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent. Buy craft paint at your local craft store and let the children decorate a pretty glass jar bought at your “dollar store.” Then fill the jar with the glittery, foil-wrapped chocolates.

Most of us don’t consume enough fruits or vegetables. How about a holiday basket filled by the grandchildren with an assortment of colorful fruits and veggies? Have the grandchildren choose lemons, pears, cranberries and green and red peppers in the produce section of your grocery store. A helpful website,  http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/, is filled with lots of information on selecting, preparing and storing common and uncommon fruits and vegetables. Print out what you like from the site and include it in your basket. Have the children decorate the basket with ribbons galore.

Don’t forget about the aromatic, herbs and green teas available in their own singles packages found everywhere at this time of year. Pile them into a couple of festive holiday cups or mugs and decorate with bows and ribbons.

If you have people on your gift list who love food and cooking, these gifts are guaranteed to please. You can double your pleasure in preparing for the holidays by including the grandchildren. You’ll be surprised at how creative they can be! Have fun!

Links for more information:

 10 Food Gift Packaging Tips

http://homecooking.about.com/od/holidayandpartyrecipes/a/foodpackagetips.htm

Christmas Making and Baking

http://www.netmums.com/family-food/seasonal/christmas-dinner-recipes/christmas-making-baking

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