Try these tasty treats and kitchen gadgets for stocking stuffers that everyone will enjoy.
Christmas is coming. Time to finalize your dinner menu, dig out grandma’s fruitcake recipe and finish the gift wrapping. With your to-do list looming and the need to frantically go shopping for last-minute gifts, it’s easy to forget about filling the stockings that add a festive touch to the rest of your holiday décor.
If you’ve run out of unique ideas or are in search of something more “food-related,” we’re here to help. Here are some tasteful ideas that are sure to please anyone from the kiddos to foodie friends:
For the kiddos and teens
- Applesauce cups: Cut back on sugar by selecting those that have no-sugar-added.
- Fruit snacks
- Fruit/vegetable squeeze pouches
- Homemade trail mix: This recipe incorporates honey-flavored shredded wheat and chocolate Chex, instead of candy, for a sweet flavor.
- Hot chocolate packets: “Light” and “no-sugar-added” varieties contain fewer calories and grams of sugar per serving.
- Nuts: Opt for those that are unsalted.
- Mini cereal boxes: Look for cereal varieties that have six grams of sugar per serving or less. Add fresh berries or dried fruit for a hint of sweetness. Save “sugary” cereal for a special treat or dessert.
- Mini marshmallows
- Mini pretzels
- Nut butter packets: Those available for purchase include almond, sunflower and peanut. They also come in flavor varieties such as chocolate hazelnut butter or maple almond butter, and are a perfect complement to bananas, sliced apples or pretzels.
- Trail mix/granola bars: Many trail mix/granola bars are comparable to candy bars and provide little nutritional value. Select bars that are NOT covered in yogurt or dipped in chocolate to reduce sugar intake. Ideally, a “healthier” trail mix/granola bar should contain: fewer than 180 calories; fewer than 5 grams of fat; more than 3 grams of fiber; and fewer than 10 grams of sugar.
Note: Any of these stocking stuffers can be used interchangeably with adults!
- Artisan chocolate: Opt for dark chocolate (provides less fat and sugar) that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. Similar to red wine, dark chocolate provides healthy antioxidants that help reduce the risk of developing certain chronic diseases, and may protect against premature aging.
- Honey sticks: Perfect for adding a hint of sweetness to your tea, oatmeal or plain yogurt at home or on-the-go.
- Mini hot sauce bottles: These are portable and convenient for adding a “zing” to your favorite dishes.
- Mini wine bottles
- Pea/vegetable crisps
- Seed (i.e., chia, hemp) packets: Boost your fiber and protein intake by adding a packet to oatmeal, yogurt and more.
- Single serve coffee cups/packets
- Spice bottles
- Tea bags
- Water enhancers
- Apple/pear slicer
- Cookie cutters
- Festive straws
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Pineapple corer
- Produce savers (e.g., banana, pepper)
- Silicone tea infuser
- Three-in-one avocado slicer
- Wine bottle stopper + corkscrew bottle opener
Lindsay MacNab, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, health nut and deep dish pizza addict from the wonderful windy city of Chicago. A 2015-2016 dietetic intern at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Lindsay was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Diet & Exercise from Iowa State University.