The holidays are fun, but with them comes candy, cookies and other sweets.  Rather than adding to the sweets, think outside the cookie jar and consider one of these other healthier holiday treats and gifts to celebrate.

Rather than cookies, bake or give one of these other holiday teats and gift ideas.

In the past two weeks, I’ve been asked about cookies more times than I can count!  I’ve gotten questions on everything from how to make regular cookies healthier and which cookies contain the least calories, to whether or not the food coloring in the cookie icing causes hyperactivity.   Believe me, I get why cookies are so popular at the holidays.  Not only are they fun to bake, they also allow us to get creative, they’re an inexpensive gift to take to parties and they taste good.  But, there is more to the holidays than cookies.

This year, rather than adding to the cookie pile in the office break room, opt for a different holiday delight.  Try one of these healthier holiday treats and gifts, instead.

Mini Holiday Bread Loaves

If you love to bake, consider a bread loaf that can be cut and shared in the break room, or with family. If you want a small gift for each individual employees, consider baking mini zucchini, pumpkin or banana breads.  You can get creative on the packaging and make the end product look beautiful with crafty ribbon & bows.

Healthier Sweet Treats – Clementine’s 

The holiday treats in the break room are for everyone, but not everyone likes sweets. That’s why a box of clementine’s will be a welcomed healthier holiday treat. It’s quick, doesn’t require a lot of creativity or effort, and it’s festive. Perfect to drop off at the office, or take to the family Christmas party.

Popcorn is a great treat to take to the office party or gift for the holidays

Holiday Popcorn Treats

Popcorn is another healthier treat to celebrate the holidays. And, there are endless flavors and ways to gift it.  The easy option is to purchase a large tin and drop it off at the office.  Even better, make individualized popcorn balls.  They are great to make with kids and allows you to get creative with flavors and colors.  For Christmas, color it red and green, or color make it pastel colored for Easter. There are recipes available using sugar-free gelatin or you can use food coloring and sugar.  Put the popcorn into holiday decorated plastic baggies as a take home treat.

Specialty coffees, cocoa or teas are a great holiday treat for work friends or to have anround for the holidays.

Specialty Teas, Coffees or Cocoa

Holiday treats don’t have to be something that you chew – beverages make good gifts, too. A hot beverage will come in handy to wash down all of the cookies and candy that everyone else is bringing in.  If you’re looking for individual gifts for family, friends or teachers, purchase a mug, a few specialty cocoa’s or teas, and even a bit of peppermint or cocoa bits. The mugs can be decorated and wrapped with a pretty bow for a perfect, inexpensive gift.  These items aren;t expensive, either – check your local dollar store for mugs.

Homemade, Personalized Holiday Gifts

Homemade gifts are great because you can personalize them, making them even more special. For realitivily inexpensive, you can purchase small items and decorate them with names, or the holiday and year.  Here are a few ideas that are just as fun to make as they are to receive:

  • Hand-crafted holiday ornaments. These are especially fun to make with kids and very inexpensive.
  • Decorate wine glasses, beer mugs or hot beverage mugs.
  • Homemade candles in decorated votives.
  • Personalized crafts such as wall hangings, mini photo frames or plaques.

I hope this gives you a few ways that you can think outside the cookie jar this holiday.  Most importantly, remember that the holidays are about giving and sharing good times with friends and family!  Have a happy, healthy, fit and fun time this season!

Want more gift ideas? Check out these holiday gift ideas for your favorite foodie, or these five fun and healthy holiday gift ideas.

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