Holiday Gift Guide
I get many in my community who ask about my favorite products, not just in the kitchen but also when it comes to clean air, water, snacks, treats, and even self-care products. When we are looking to nourish our families in the healthiest ways possible, having tools for both mind and body are important.
And last year, we got a puppy! So I have included a brand new section on my favorite pet items, from treats, to training, and even something for calming anxiety.
The holidays can be a great opportunity to make bigger purchases like changing out kitchen equipment, investing in a wellness tool, or just finding sensory-friendly items for your child and having ideas to send to family can be handy.
I’ve created the gift guide below with some of my favorite products for parents, kids, and even your pets! Foods and treats can be a big part of our holidays and I wanted to share some of the products and brands I use personally.
For kids who have higher sensory needs, there are some great products to help! Noise canceling headphones can be terrific for helping children who have auditory sensitivities be more comfortable in loud places. Whether this is the grocery store, outing with family, or even a home celebration, overwhelming noises can be really challenging for those who are sensitive and this can be a wonderful support.
Sensory swings can also be a fun gift that provide support in addition! These can easily be used at home and provide a cozy haven when a little sensory downtime is needed.
I have also had clients share that their children really enjoy calming sensory lights as a focal point. These can be used near bedtime or even during the day in a darker room.
A weighted blanket can be wonderfully soothing for some children and adults. They come in a variety of different sizes depending on your needs and preferences.
Coloring is a big favorite in my house. My daughter and I both love to draw and make things colorful. Actually, she loves to draw (I’m not that good at it), I prefer coloring! I found these great colored pencils that we just love.
Sweet treats are something special many children look forward to at the holidays. But, with special diets, food allergies or reactions, and just the desire to have the healthiest diet possible, that can be a tricky topic. No Whey is a great brand and they have a chocolate Santa and a whole allergen-friendly Santa’s Goodie box option. And for that classic holiday treat, YumEarth Candy Canes give you the delicious peppermint taste without the high fructose corn syrup and food dyes found in other brands.
Gifts for Mom and Dad
Staying hydrated is important for the whole family, including mom and dad! When we take care of our own health, we can better care for our loved ones. I like Hydroflasks because they use stainless steel, are very durable which is important with kids, and have a really nice warranty. For a truly special gift, my friend and colleague Terri Hirning told me about these VitaJuwel bottles or pitchers. They blend the health of drinking out of glass with the stunning beauty of gemstones. Terri loves hers!
Essential oil diffusers can make beautiful yet functional gifts for moms and dads! In this recent blog, I brought up the topic of certain scents causing meltdowns. This can include even more natural scents like essential oils. If your child is reactive, you will want to be careful and avoid those that trigger behavioral issues. But, there are oils that are lower in phenols and can be very soothing and pleasant. This marbled glass diffuser is a beautiful option, as is this domed version with a smaller profile. Some of my favorite oils come from my friend Jodi Cohen’s company, Vibrant Blue Oils.
A good multi-tool is so useful for both moms and dads! Whether you are interested in self-protection, camping, or just everyday life, they are really handy. This one has 9 functions: Knife with Safety Lock Design, Wire Cutter, Regular Plier, Needle Nose Plier, Bottle Opener, Can Opener, Slotted Screwdriver, Different Sized Screwdriver Bits.
Our special dads who shave will love this Harry razor! Another Close Shave makes a clean shave gel that would be a great accompaniment.
Health Supporting Gifts
Self-care is another important area and the holidays can be a great time to have family members go in on larger gifts together. I recently started tracking my sleep, stress, oxygen, and heart rate. I find that looking at this data daily is very useful to boost my health and productivity. I use this Garmin Venu fitness watch. I also love my Oura Ring. It gathers similar information as the watch, and because it’s a ring, it’s more comfortable to wear to sleep. So if I’m trying to view my stats real time or during a workout, I prefer my watch, but if it’s sleep related I like my Oura ring.
The Apollo Neuro is great for kids and adults alike. It is a new kind of wearable that improves the body’s resilience to stress, so you can relax, sleep, focus, and recover. It’s like a wearable hug for your nervous system that helps you be calmer.
It can be worn on the wrist or ankle and works by engaging with your sense of touch, delivering silent, soothing vibrations that help you feel safe and in control. Apollo Neuro’s scientifically validated technology trains your nervous system to bounce back from stress more quickly, going from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest”. So far I am loving it and do notice a reduction in my stress levels when I wear it! In fact, I even recently wrote about this in my article on Healthy Solutions for Happy Holidays because it is so helpful in reducing my feelings of stress.
I get asked all the time about my favorite air filter. Having clean indoor air is so important. And what is really frustrating is that our indoor air can be 2 to 5 times—or even up to 100 times—more polluted than outdoor air! Air Doctor is the brand I use in my home because they are the first affordable air purifier that not only removes virtually 100% of the particle pollution but the vast majority of toxic ozone and volatile organic compounds which can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, frequent headaches, nausea and also liver, kidney and central nervous system damage. They have 3 models to choose from depending on your needs.
ChiliSleep is a terrific sleep-hacking tool. Science shows that we sleep deeper with increased recovery at a cooler body temperature. ChiliSleep systems leverage hydro-cooling power to deliver your best night’s sleep, every night. You can set your optimal sleep temperatures that shift and adjust based on your perfect sleep schedule. You can use the “warm wake” feature and ditch your alarm clock, and even set your ChiliPad to come on and be ready for you when you slip into bed! Save 25% off all new Sleep Systems.
My Favorite Tools For the Kitchen
I love things that make it easier and a high powered blender is one of those tools! I have a Vitamix but Blendtec is another great option. The advantage of a blender like these is that it blends foods really finely so when you want to add things like kale to your smoothie, you don’t have to chew it! Another great tool is a juicer. When we aim to get as many healthy vegetables and fruits into our children, smoothies and juices can be easy ways to do so. For juicers, I like masticating because more of the raw enzymes stay intact. This Omega juicer is a nice option. For my fellow gardeners, winter doesn’t have to mean an end to your growing season. I have an Aero Garden like this one. I love being able to have fresh herbs and veggies all year round! And for cutting those herbs (or whatever else) my new favorite knife is this Tuo Nakiri chef knife.
For the Whole Family
As I referred to above, in this recent blog I talked about reactions to common holiday scents, including from candles that can cause meltdowns and other behavioral issues. Bluecorn Candles are 100% pure beeswax, scented by honey, colored by pollen, are paraffin-free and have a lead-free wick. Some of my favorite kitchen tools include this glass kettle and my Instant Pot. Another new tool I have been loving is my air fryer! I’ve used both the Ninja and the Cuisinart
My dog doesn’t like loud noises like the hairdryer when she is getting a bath, so I found this great product called Happy Hoodie and it works like a charm! We are working on basic training skills (so she can get her Canine Good Citizen award) and the Gentle Leader has helped tremendously in walking her. It was recommended by her trainer and we love it! And with her training, I like to give her healthy treats and the Honest Kitchen is what I personally use. Our dog Bailey really likes the Goat Milk & Cookies or the Parmesan Pecks. And for a fun time, we love this treat dispenser to keep her busy for a while.
Ultimately the best gift we can give our loved ones is the gift of time. Special time together in the kitchen preparing delicious and healthy meals or special holiday treats can mean more than any wrapped gift. Baking cookies is a particular favorite for me and my daughter Ruby. We love these holiday cookie cutters to make delicious and healthy sugar cookies.
No matter what your plans are for this holiday season, from our Nourishing Hope family to yours, wishing you love and joy.
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I love reading all your tips. I pass them on to family and friends
Thank you Denise!