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Calorie Count Blog

Gift Ideas for Healthy Eating


By Mary_RD on Dec 01, 2009 12:00 PM in Tips & Updates
Edited By +Rachel Berman

Be a pal to your friends who are trying to eat healthy because the tide doesn’t flow in their direction.  Come to their aid with stocking stuffers that make it easy to eat healthy food.  Stocking stuffers are thoughtful and playful, and the price is right.  They might even be the most used gifts.

How can you help the healthy eaters - actual and aspiring - on your list?  Make it easy for them to eat fruit and vegetables, of course!  The message has been the same for 20 years: Americans should eat 9+ servings of fruit and vegetables a day, but currently we average 4 servings - if you count French fries and potato chips.  That's too bad because not eating fruit and vegetables can make a mere mortal sick over time.

And so, to make it easy to do the right thing, choose from these 25 little gifts.  Stay healthy.  Save time and money.  Reduce aggravation.  Now, that’s a great gift.


Gifts That Keep Produce Fresh


Truth be told, Americans throw their produce in the trash.  Research shows that households chuck 14 percent of the food they buy.  Enough is enough.  Protect your investment with these handy gifts.

Progressive International Lettuce Keeper
, $12.10
One container doubles as a colander and water reservoir with an adjustable vent to regulate air circulation and moisture.  Keeps salad fresh for up to 2 weeks.

Progressive Onion Keeper, $7.99
Maintains freshness and eliminates odor from cut onions.  No more stinky iced tea.

Hutzler Garlic Saver, $2.80
Ideal storage conditions for garlic: cool, dark, with good air circulation.

Healthy Harvest Freshness Extender
,  $14.66
A pack of two "eggs" that remove ethylene gas to seriously reduce the rate of ripening. Place one in a vegetable crisper drawer and another in an open-air fruit bowl.

Peak Fresh Re-Usable Produce Bags
, $6.95
Ten re-usable 10 x 16 inch bags that remove ethylene gas to extend freshness.  You can wash and reuse the bags again and again.

Harold Import Company Avo Saver, $3.98
How can you keep half an avocado?  This gadget slows oxidization for several days (instead of several minutes).

Kalron Lemon/Lime Saver, $3.95
Keeps cut citrus fresh, fragrant and colorful for up to one week.

Hutzler Tomato Saver, $3.89
Keeps cut tomatoes fresh.  No more soggy, wet tomatoes.   

Progressive International Berry Keeper, $7.99
Functions like the Progressive International Lettuce Keeper.  No more moldy berries.  

Evriholder Nana Saver- Banana Saver Clip
,  $3.39
Plastic clip slips over a cut banana to keep it fresh longer.

Evriholder Apple Saver, $3.99
Cool gadget slips over a cut apple to keep it from turning brown. 


Gifts That Clean Produce

Unless go organic, then you and your children eat in harmful pesticides and other foreign chemicals along with your produce.  And all produce harbors bacteria.  That's why these gadgets make great little gifts.

Oxo Good Grips Flexible Vegetable Brush
, $3.95
Sturdy bristles are easy to hold, easy to clean, and very durable.

OXO Mini Salad and Herb Spinner
, $24.99
The best salad spinner in a small size for berries, herbs, or salad for two.  The pump mechanism makes it easy.  Stop wasting paper towels.

Progressive International Set of 4 Chopping Mats, $9.83
These 11 X 15-inch flexible mats keep foods separated.  Bend the mat and slide it straight into the pot.  Dishwasher safe.  Rolls up for storage.

Citrus Magic, Fruit & Veggie Wash, 16 oz, $4.69
Removes water-resistant pesticides, fungicides and waxes from produce.  Proven to be 300% more effective than water alone.  Made of 100% natural ingredients from citrus fruit, corn and coconut.


Gifts That Make Produce Easy to Prepare


Peel, slice, grate, chop, wait for it to cook.  These gadgets keep produce from sucking up your time.

Oxo Good Grips Mini Chopper
, $11.99
Makes easy work of chopping garlic, shallots, ginger, chili peppers, nuts, herbs - all the small stuff.  Stays sharp.  Easy to clean.

Leifheit Feel It Stainless Steel Line Peeler, $8.99
Fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. Makes peeling a breeze.

Zyliss Fresh Cut Salad Knife, $3.95
Serrated plastic blade clean cuts leaves to keep them green longer. Lightweight.  Also great for cake and bread.

Microplane Grater/Zester, $11.95
Easy grating for carrots, citrus zest, ginger, and parmesan cheese.  Extremely sharp!  

Zyliss Susi DeLuxe Garlic Press
, $14.99
Place the whole clove, skin and all, into the press and squeeze.  Swiss precision.  Easy to clean.

Trudeau Stainless Steel Avocado Slicer/Pit/Rind Removal Tool
, $5.99
Easily slices and removes avocado pit and rind.  Eat more avocados for their healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and creamy taste.

Oxo Steel Mango Splitter, $14.99
Sharp blades easily slice a mango in half leaving nothing behind on the pit.  Eat more mangoes for their antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and delicious taste.

Chef'n Sleekstor VeggiSteam Steamer, $11.99
An 8-1/2-inch silicone steamer that won’t scratch pans.  Microwave safe.  Toss that old stainless steel basket.

Norpro 5-1/2-Inch Terra Cotta Garlic Baker
, $7.99
Take a fresh garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh thyme, bake for 45 minutes, spread on French bread.  Heaven on earth.

Handy Pantry Sprouter Jar w/ Sprouting Strainer Lid, $9.95
Grow nutritious sprouts at home in this one quart glass jar with a plastic strainer lid.  Seeds and instructions are included.

Note: prices are not guaranteed. 


Your thoughts....

Have you tried any of these gadgets?  Do you have gifts to recommend?



Comments


Apple wedger - Oxo also makes an apple wedger that is awesome. Just slide down over apple (or pear) and perfect slices of apples without the core. I use this everyday. It is the best way to increase your intake of fruit.

For the kids or company, slice the apples and put on the table with a little caramel sauce and they think you are a genius.

You can find this at Kohl's for about $7. 



Good ideas!  Everyone is always looking for news ways to eat healthy in a quick and easy manner.  Cool



Yes!  I have two suggestions - very low tech, but best of all!

A GOOD set of knives!!!  I love Henkles or Wustoff - look for sales this time of year.  No gadget can replace the pleasure of working with knives that glide through the food easily.  A 10" chef's knife is essential.  Santouko is nice.  And I LOVE my 8" (I think that is how long) serrated knife - a short serrated knife that cuts tomatoes with perfect ease. I would not live without that!

Another basic not to forget - a good cutting board!  I have many, in many sizes.  If I am really cutting a lot of veggies, I love a large one.  If your cutting board is too small, you dont have room to work! 

My personal favorite is the Epicurean - http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1& ;SKU=14043810 They feel good to work with, and are only 1/4 inch thick, so storing them is easy.  They are recommended by professional chefs.  I like them much better than plastic, or plastic "sheets" and your knives respond well with this surface, too.  And dishwasher safe (the smaller ones will fit, but I love my large one).

I also have a very large wooden cutting board, that is perfect for carving a turkey.  But since my kitchen is short on counter space, I love to lay this across my sink, thereby adding "counter space" to work with! And chop away!

Ease of cutting fruits and veggies is what makes them a pleasure  to prep - and these basics will not steer you wrong!

 I hate to say this, and its certainly not cheap (neither are good knives) but I dont know what I would do without my small TV in the kitchen.  It keeps me company and in the kitchen a long time, very happy to cook. 

Ok, now you got me going.  I could not live without a GOOD pepper mill, with variable grinds.  I went through a lot of cheap ones to find my favorite, but maybe you can do well with a cheaper one.  I love Peugot.  Nothing like some butternut squash, or your favorite foods with freshly ground black pepper! Who needs the cream sauce?

And my blender for smoothies!  I know for some people, that blender lays very dormant.  Mine has prime time on my counter, and with some soymilk, yogurt, frozen bananas, juices, protein mixes, frozen berries, peanut butter, you name it.  I highly recommend Kitchen Aid.  I used to have the kind that would leak if I forgot the rubber seal around it.  No rubber seal for this one, and no taking it apart to wash.  All one piece, and no blender leaking.

None of these are cheap, but they are MY personal favorites to keep me happy working with healhty foods in the kitchen. 



stxenia, I couldn't agree more about good tools in the kitchen!  In addition to what you listed I have to add just a couple of items that make cooking fun, interesting and a success, which is key to wanting to cook.   

(mini-rant) May people say they can't cook a thing.  I think, at least 50% of the time, that's because of cheap or poorly made kitchen tools.  Consistantly good technique and great recipes can be destroyed by a pan that just doesn't heat evenly or a dull knife!  Not to mention really old spices or bland sub-par ingredients. (Solved by the great 'keep fresh' tools listed here.)

Try replacing just one pan, that is used the most, with a very, very good pan that can do double time on the stove and in the oven (All-Clad or similar).  Amazing how much time can be saved by being able to start a dish on the stove (saute/browning) and finish it in the oven as a one dish meal.  Lots of sizes to  choose from so can be scaled accordingly.  I like the big ones and then divide them up and freeze the leftovers for later. Yes, they are expensive, but the money I save by evenly cooking and not burning food fills that gap.  I know what to expect from my tools every time.

The other dish I recommend is a good dutch oven (Le Crueset or similar).  Because of the construction and the even heating I can use a lower heat setting and simmer my strew/soup all day (or throw it in the oven to finish).  I prefer one that I can use on the stove to brown the meat, saute the onions/garlic/spices, put it all back together and then plop it into the oven and  to finish cooking.

Good tools make cooking something to look forward to instead of a chore that you dread. Yes, cooking disasters happen, even with the best tools, but not nearly as often!

Last but not least, I listen to books on CD (or IPOD) for my entertainment in the kitchen.  I can keep my eyes on the sharp edge of the knife that way.  :)

 



PS:  Want interesting onion slices?  A very sharp apple slicer works for that too!  Nice consistant shape for French Onion soup, roasts or with just a little extra chopping, on sandwiches or for hamburgers.  (Eliminates the ring dangle effect for those of us with not-so-sharp incisers)



I love  my Magic Bullet blender. It was my Mother's Day gift this year. Super fast to set up and use and super easy to clean.  Plan to carry it with me when I travel.



Ok first I just have to ask - 9+???  What happened to 5 a day??

Second, I have to say I have found anything made by OXO to be of great quality.  They make things easier to do, and are definately worth the extra money.  I own a lot of their products including the apple slicer (definately my favorite), salad spinner, can opener.....I could go on forever.



 

 

 

 

For a birthday, holiday or special occasion, show you care with a gift that encourages good health for the body, mind, and soul. Dating Advice



All great ideas. This one is abit more expensive but, I love my kitchen nutrition scale. They vary in price beginning at about $70 and are INVALUABLE breaking down fat, carbs, calories, etc. etc. Great gift for healthy eating!



Comment Removed

good quality cast iron pans. my are nicely seasoned now and are better than my non-stick pans... and bonus, they literally do add iron to what you are cooking...



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