Homemade Real-Food Gifts

Gift giving is not my love language. In other words, I overthink it (and, well, most everything) and end up causing myself added stress in an already stressful holiday season. (Can any other women out there relate? Women are usually the ones most stressed during holidays–making dreams come true is high pressure!) So to me, the best gifts are the ones that make life easier and healthier. Thus, my fixation on homemade real-food gifts!

At a time when most people are gifting treats, sweets and snacks, I prefer to give a food gift that will be the practical basis of a real-food meal.

Because that is like giving the priceless gifts of time and health!

Here are a few ideas I’ve rounded up from my blog as well as some fellow registered dietitian nutritionists.

Snack Ideas and Spice Mix Meal Kits

30 DIY Healthy Food Gift Ideas from Amy Gorin Nutrition
This great round-up of mostly treats and snack food gifts is pretty comprehensive. They are often the easiest gifts to give, but keep reading if you want to provide an even more uniquely thoughtful real-food gift…

  • My favorite idea listed above: homemade pizza spice mix from Amy Gorin Nutrition. This would be a great jumping off point for a whole pizza kit! It could include pizza sauce (Rao’s is my favorite), some homemade whole wheat (or Trader Joe’s) pizza dough (that could be frozen or used asap), and some cheese.
  • For the carb conscious, you could make it a Zucchini Pizza Kit, with vertically sliced zucchini replacing the pizza dough.

Taco Seasoning Mix
You can simply gift a mason jar of this easy, gluten-free spice mix or I prefer to add tortillas and homemade salsa to make a whole Taco Tuesday Meal Kit out if it! There’s even a free printable gift tag to make it even easier for you.

Breakfast Ideas

Homemade Gluten Free Pancake Mix and Gingerbread Pancakes from the Spicy RD
If you’re going to gift a pancake mix, this one adds delicious seasonal flavors and the choice of gluten-free flours used makes them a little more nutrient dense.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Pancakes on a plate topped with pecans and maple syrup.
The Spicy RD’s Gluten Free Gingerbread Pancakes

Grain-Free Granola
A lower-sugar, nut-based granola is great as a snack or added to lower sugar yogurt as a quick breakfast.

Easy Egg Cups Make a double batch of these Starbucks-like egg cups–one for you, one as a gift. They are low carb and store well in the fridge to make breakfast easier for the whole week. Truly the gift that keeps on giving!

“Freezer Dump” Meal Ideas

Slow Cooker Mushroom Barley Soup from It’s a Veg World After All
This is a great hearty vegetarian soup option! One of my favorite holiday gifts EVER has been a basket full of three different quarts of homemade soup–so thoughtful, healthful and delicious! So, you can prepare this soup and gift it cooked–OR prepare it as a freezer dump meal for your recipient to keep in the freezer and then thaw overnight and dump into a slow cooker to make fresh when needed.

ingredients in a stasher bag with a label and notes about cooking time

Instant Pot or Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
This one-pot meal can be assembled and cooked right away in an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker…OR assembled and frozen in a freezer bag to make a future easy, real-food dinner. Either way, it’s a crowd-pleaser!

Yes, I’m a little last minute getting these ideas out for you, but last minute is always how I roll! I’m perseverating, not procrastinating… If you’re like me, maybe there’s still time to pull one of these together! If not, don’t stress. There’s always next year. Happy Holidays!

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