Joy Bauer is the nutrition and health editor for TODAY and the author of several books, including “Your Inner Skinny.” Here are her gift recommendations for this holiday season. For more information on health and nutrition, visit joybauer.com.
Table Topics Cubes
Table Topics Cubes are filled with question cards designed to engage friends and family in lively conversation around the dinner table. I love these adorable sets because they inspire families to eat more meals at home and spend quality time together. Home-cooked meals tend to be lower in calories, fat and salt than restaurant food, not to mention less expensive, so this is a win-win! Table Topics are available in a variety of fun, clever themes, including Family, Teen, Girls Night Out and Not Your Mom’s Dinner Party. They cost $25 each and make terrific hostess gifts for the holiday party season!
Coleman RoadTrip LXE Portable Grill
This portable grill is every tailgater’s dream! It has an impressive grill size, so you can efficiently feed a large group, but folds up into a compact unit on wheels that’s easy to pull around (much like a piece of luggage). Use this handy grill to cook up your own healthy fare like skinless chicken, lean turkey sausages, fish and vegetables, instead of buying overpriced, fattening food at the game. You’ll find uses for it year-round, from camping and picnicking to outdoor cooking in the winter after your full-size grill has been packed away for the season. This versatile grill sells for $199.99.
Sur La Table Oil Misters
Oil misters allow you to carefully control how much extra fat and calories you add to your recipes, and the fact that they’re now available in fun colors (red, green, orange and more) makes these smart kitchen tools even more gift-worthy. By using spray oil rather than pouring bottled oil directly into pots and pans, you can significantly trim the calories in your favorite recipes. Plus, these refillable misters permanently replace disposable canisters of cooking spray. Oil misters are cost-effective, environmentally friendly and calorie-smart — what’s not to love? This gadget costs $12.95, and is a winning stocking stuffer. It also becomes a fabulous gift when paired with a high-quality bottle of heart-healthy olive oil.
ThermoWorks Thermapen Kitchen Thermometer
The Thermapen is the self-proclaimed Rolls-Royce of digital kitchen thermometers and a terrific tool for culinary amateurs and pros alike. With food safety becoming increasingly more of a concern, every household needs a good thermometer. This fast, accurate, water-resistant and easy-to-read thermometer takes the guesswork out of preparing meats to the proper temperature. That means even people who are unfamiliar in the kitchen can feel confident about cooking lean, delicious entrees such as whole chickens or turkeys, pork tenderloin and lean beef roasts. The Thermapen costs $96 and is available in bright, fun colors to match any kitchen decor.
Chef’n VeggiChop Food Chopper
This clever countertop food chopper saves a ton of prep time in the kitchen. A few quick pulls of the handle and, in just seconds, you’ve got finely diced onions, peppers, tomatoes and more, perfectly chopped and ready for the stove. This is a fabulous find for busy professionals and parents who don’t have a lot of time to devote to cooking. With this gadget in their kitchen arsenal, they’ll be more inclined to cook healthy, homemade meals and add more nutrient-rich vegetables to their recipes. The Chef’n VeggiChop Food Chopper costs $29.99.
Run Girl Run Eclipse Capri Skort
Having the right workout clothes makes exercising easier and more enjoyable. Spandex bottoms are comfortable and functional, but they cling to your body … and you may feel less than thrilled about showing off your thighs and tush to neighbors on the street or strangers at the gym. The Eclipse Capri Skort from Run Girl Run sells for $64.95 and gives you the best of both worlds by layering stretchy spandex capri pants under a feminine and practical skirt, so you feel confident and secure while you move.
Run Girl Run Runner/Marathon Pendants
These charming pewter pendants make special, commemorative presents for the runners in your life. If you have a loved one who recently completed a marathon, gifting them the “26.2” pendant is a heartfelt way to celebrate their victory (26.2 marks the number of miles in a full marathon). The “13.1” pendant is perfect for friends who accomplished their first half-marathon this year. Run Girl Run also offers a generic pendant imprinted with a runner’s profile, which makes a wonderful gift for anyone with a passion for running. These unique pieces of jewelry cost $19.95 each and will be filled with meaning for their lucky recipients.
Mission Deluxe Skincare Kit for Athletes
Help the athletes on your list protect their fit and toned bods with an impressive array of nourishing skin-care products. This all-inclusive kit includes ultra-sweatproof sunscreen, lip balms with SPF 15-20, anti-chafe balm, hydrating lotions and foot therapy cream to soothe aching feet. And, by purchasing these 12 high-performance products as a bundled set for $49.99, you save $30 off the retail value. This is a great gift pick for all outdoor athletes, including skiers!
Tone Fitness Dumbbell Set
Dumbbells are one of those items that most women would love to own, but just never get around to buying for themselves. Give the gift of strength by equipping someone in your life with this versatile set of weights. For $26.77, it includes three pairs of brightly colored dumbbells (2, 3 and 5 pounds), as well as a durable storage rack. Consider pairing the weights with a great strength-training DVD so your recipient can start using them right away.
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Fitbit Wireless Fitness Tracker
With the Fitbit tracking device, you can free yourself from trying to calculate how much exercise you did or how many calories you’ve burned, because it does all the work for you. The Fitbit is equipped with a 3-D motion sensor that measures and records your daily movements (including miles traveled and steps taken). When you’re in range of the base station, your stats are automatically and wirelessly uploaded to Fitbit.com, where you can review your progress and track your activity goals. This sleek exercise companion costs $99 and is as small as a USB flash drive, so it can be worn discreetly in your pocket or clipped almost anywhere on your clothing.
Zipfy Mini Luges
The Zipfy Mini Luge and Zipfy Jr. Luge give kids of all ages a reason to get moving outside in the snow, so they’re not stuck indoors all winter long. The Zipfy Luges are much smaller and more convenient than traditional sleds, so they’re especially smart gifts for households where space is limited. Their compact, lightweight design makes them easy to stow in a car or carry when heading to a park or hill for sledding. Even parents can take a ride on Zipfy Mini Luge, since it holds up to 250 pounds. The Zipfy Jr. Luge is more appropriate for younger kids (ages 3 to 7); this smaller model can accommodate up to 80 pounds and has a wacky, googly-eye design in front. The Zipfy Mini sells for $39.98, and the Zipfy Jr. sells for $34.98.
Super Fun Stilts
Almost any kid will get a kick out of stilts! This classic toy encourages kids to get active in a fun, unique way and builds motor coordination skills at the same time. Kids will enjoy the challenge of learning to balance and walk around up high, and they’ll love impressing their friends with their new talent. The stilts sell for $44.98, are adjustable based on your child’s height and can be enjoyed from ages 6 to adult (yup, I bet moms and dads will want to try them out, too!).
Zumba Fitness Video Game
Zumba is one of the hottest trends in fitness today. If you don’t have the time or money to take classes at a gym, have your own dance party at home with the Zumba Fitness video game! Great for moms, teens and kids, this high-energy Zumba workout gets you movin’ and shakin’ so you burn major calories while grooving to infectious Latin music. This popular new release starts at $39.99 and is available for Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
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