I love presents! But as someone who struggles to manage a lifestyle of healthy eating, sometimes a food gift can send me into a downward spiral. No matter the holiday, even if I got bad news and need some encouragement – I pray the delightful treasure does not include calories. Why? Because I want to stay consistent, even as life around me swirls with celebration, change or pain.

You have a loved one or friend who would bless you if you didn’t give them a food gift, although they probably won’t tell you outright. You know the person I’m talking about, the one who struggles what they eat day in and day out. They want to enjoy food, but don’t want to lose their health, and you’ve seen their ups and downs as they navigate the sea of food put in their path each day.

Now, the time has come to get them a gift.

You’d like give them an easy grab at the supermarket. A box of chocolate would be festive and in the right price range. Food gifts are easy to find, affordable and tasty but- deep in your heart you know they might feel bad about eating it. Yet, healthy gift ideas can be hard to come by.

Good news! You can give them joy without giving them food.

That’s why I’ve created this healthy gift guide that doesn’t include food. These suggestions, allow the recipient of your generosity to enjoy a sensory delight other than taste, such as smell, sight, hearing and touch. In this list you’ll find gifts that fill the heart, without the added guilt of unhealthy food consumption consequences.

(I am not being paid to put these items in a blog and advertise for the companies. These are simply a few of my favorite things.)

  1. Urban Essentials Wipes

These individually wrapped, on-the-go wipes smell amazing. I like the lemon before eating when out and about, but every single scent is amazing. I often pop open a lavender for a quick and calming breathing exercise. As I write this blog the mini gift sets are on sale, so hop on over and give them a try at a steal! https://www.herbanessentials.com/collections/frontpage. These heavenly wipes are easy to purchase on Amazon, and sold at World Market if you want to pick some up in person. Starting at $7.00 Hot tip: buy some large bags for yourself and make a small mix pack of 3-5 for a friend who needs a little pick me up.

  1. Trader Joe’s Lavender Salt Scrub

You’re at Trader Joe’s anyway, pick up a few of these to have on hand for special gifting. I wrapped a jar for a hostess gift last week. Not only did she give a hoot, a hug and a grin… but also mentioned that her husband might use them up. Fragrant and soothing, these salts satisfy the sensory need for touch and smell and are a wonderful addition to any shower or bath. Who wouldn’t love a luxury experience for around $6.00?

  1. A healthy subscription

Give the gift of access to something they love, like a master class or online dance studio. Monthly subscriptions are affordable and your friend can learn a skill or boogie down in the comfort of their own home. Maria, the creator and owner of Stay in Motion online dance studio gave me a coupon just for you. At 10% off, this subscription is a steal for less than $12 a month. https://stay-inmotion.com use code: DISCOUNT10FORU at checkout.

  1. A living plant

I recommend a small size bloom because a petite pot can be placed in the home by the sink, or easily planted outside for under $10.

  1. A happy or funny mug

My mug cabinet is filled with mis-matched mugs that mean something to me. The one I’m drinking from now says “Best Day Ever.” Funny, inspiring and beautiful mugs can be purchased at a variety of price ranges – even under $10, and can be personally fitting bought right off the shelf. I am amazed at the variety at Homegoods alone. Think you need to fill it with food? Not necessary. A simple box of hot tea or even a folded note of friendship or appreciation makes this gift overflow with your thoughtfulness and care.

  1. A framed Bible verse

One of my favorite gifts sits on my night stand: a Bible verse my friend Marianne laminated for me. Come to think of it, I have another laminated gift in my wallet, that sits behind my driver’s license to remind me I am loved by Jesus and He has a plan for my life that is good. How many small gifts go with a person everywhere? This one does! Self-adhesive laminating sheets are less than $5/package. Simply write or print words of encouragement on paper and place it between plastic to create a decoration for the home, bookmark or wallet sized inspiration. This simple gift has the potential to inspire your loved for years to come. Having trouble thinking of a verse? Google “Bible verses for…” (add in the encouragement your friend needs) Such as “Bible Verses for anxiety” and voila! You have a nice list of verses to choose from. Post the pictures of what you make in the comments!

  1. Fidget ring

These beautiful rings can be purchased on Amazon for under $10 and work for anyone who needs something to do with their hands besides eat. If it arrives in a small plastic zip lock bag, run over to JoAnn Fabrics or similar craft store. Often they have an array of jewelry gift boxes to choose from. The recipient will appreciate the shining gesture that helps de-stress.

  1. Touch screen winter gloves

A new pair of gloves gloves is always a great idea, especially if it is in a spicy color or style that excites the eyes and gladdens the heart. A wide variety can be found on Amazon for under $10.

  1. Playlist

Remember the days of mixed tapes and how wonderful it was to receive one? Bring back that loving feeling by adding a hand written “playlist” to any gift card that can be used for purchasing music.

  1. A heartfelt card

Finding a genuine card can take time and has much power to encourage a heart or celebrate achievement. I store my special cards in a beautiful box. One of my friends treasures her favorite cards in sheet protectors. Some extra special cards are framed or taped to my refrigerator. The most meaningful gifts are often kind words, and a card is kind words that can be kept forever.

I hope this list is helpful! As the old saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts.” Genuine thoughtfulness, in the form of a present that shields your friend from a food spiral will be appreciated more than you know. No matter what you decide to stick a bow on, ultimately your friendship the true gift.