Consider these 7 feel-good gift ideas

  • Mon Dec 7th, 2009 7:23pm
  • Life

By Jennifer Larue Huget The Washington Post

Nobody wants to unwrap a book about dieting, right? But there are lots of lovely presents to give a person who’s looking to eat more healthfully during the coming year.

Beaba Babycook: If I had a baby in my life, I’d be all over this European baby-food maker, which turns fresh, healthful vegetables, fruits and meats into pure, preservative- and additive-free meals for wee ones. Yum. $149.95 at

“Cake Wrecks”: Here’s a way to enjoy cake without eating a bite. Jen Yates’ book documenting professional bakery cakes gone horribly wrong will have you laughing so hard you’ll forget to eat. Plus, laughing for 10 or 15 minutes burns between 10 and 40 calories, research shows. $11.70 at

Cooking Light subscription: You’ll never feel deprived eating food made from these recipes, and every issue contains valuable information about nutrition, fitness and taking care of yourself. $15 for 12 issues at

Nine-inch plates: Alex Bogusky notes in his book “The 9-Inch ‘Diet’ ” that switching from standard 12-inch dinner plates to the formerly standard nine-inch size can help you better gauge healthful portions. Be aware that the smaller dish is often called a salad plate. Set of four Provence salad plates, $34 at

Old-time gum sampler: Chewing gum can help you lose weight and keep it off. But most varieties have artificial sweeteners, which many of us don’t care for. Toss some old-fashioned sugar-sweetened gum in everyone’s stocking instead. $14.95 for 15 five-stick packs (five each of three flavors) at

“Mindfulness for Beginners” audio CD. Jon Kabat-Zinn promotes the concept of mindfulness: being fully aware in every waking moment.

That can help you eat much more healthfully as you pay close attention to what you eat and when. $13.57 at

OXO Good Grips ginger peeler: Adding spices such as ginger to your diet boosts flavor without adding calories. Ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can help ward off nausea. But it was never much fun to peel until this gadget came along. $7at