Gift Guides

The Healthy Mama 2021 Holiday Gift Guide



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I'm Kris, trained chef, culinary nutritionist and busy mom, here to help you take the stress out of healthy eating with flexible meal planning, simplified meal prep and easy budget-friendly meals.

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It’s gift guide time! Friends, I LOVE reading gift guides and I love GIVING gifts- so this list is always a fun one to create! My hope is it gives you some inspiration for gifting the ones you love in your life- or ideas to put on your own list! I tried to feature a mix of Amazon and non-amazon, as I know Amazon is convenient- but it’s also great to support small businesses- and there are even some local to the tiny New England towns, near me! This year is an extra special gift guide, because for the first time ever, I actually recorded a (far too long) podcast episode of the gift guide, as well- so check it out on the Healthy Balanced Mama Podcast.

Listen to the podcast episode:

LISTEN: Listen on Apple | Listen on Stitcher | Listen on Google Play | Listen on Spotify

As a note, the Amazon links are affiliate links which means I get a small (and I mean small) commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Healthy Balanced Mama! Let’s dive in!

All product images copyright unless otherwise linked.

For the man in your life:

1. Shady Rays sunglasses. These are my husband’s favorite affordable sunglasses- and he goes through a lot of sunglasses, as a sailor! He loves the fit, the style and that they’ll replace them, no questions asked.

2. A nice Enso ring. Enso rings are made from silicone, so they’re so much more comfortable and light than your standard band- they’re great for the active guy, in your life!

3. Bombas Socks. Because who doesn’t love a great pair of socks? Bombas are comfortable, cozy, sweat wicking and stylish, he’ll definitely appreciate these!

4. Ember Mug. A $100 mug? I know, right?! It seems kind of outrageous until you realize it keeps your coffee hot all. day. long.

5. A game to play together. Something to do together is always a great gift, in my opinion. We love two player games like Monopoly Deal and Lost Cities (I got this one for my husband last year) and the new Healthier Together deck by Liz Moody of the Healthier Together podcast for sparking awesome conversations!

6. A good multitool. I don’t know you guys- I’ve just got a pocket knife I use while camping, but my husband swears by this. So get your guy a good one!

7. Great pair of headphones… for listening while he does the dishes, right?! 😉 My husband likes the Samsung, or of course, for the Apple fan- you can’t go wrong with the Apple Airpods (my go-to).

8. Mr Black x Whistlepig cold brew coffee liqueur. 100% arabica coffee liqueur that’s been aged in Whistlepig 10 Year Straight Rye Whiskey barrels. Umm, yes please. I‘m imagining the BEST white russian with this one. It’s definitely for your husband. 😉

9. Finally- an experience! Something to do together- rock climbing, a concert, a sports game, couples massages, are always a great gift.

For your sister/bestie:

1. The Olive & June nail polish set. I have been obsessed with this nail polish for the past year. As someone who does NOT love painting her nails- O & J makes it super easy and the colors are awesome. I may have gotten this exact set for someone on my list!

2. The Healthy Mama Meal Planner… Ok, I couldn’t miss sharing the Healthy Mama Meal Planner is officially available for sale! PLUS, for a limited time, you’ll also get my brand new SOS family dinner e-book (which won’t be available until January) with over 35 family-friendly weeknight recipes divided into main ingredients so you can figure out what to make if you’re stumped on your meal plan or short on time and you’re not sure what to make with that… chicken breast, can of chickpeas, pound of ground beef, dried lentils… you get the gist. Plus, you get the meal planner to simplify your weeknights! I can not WAIT to share it with you!

3. A great bottle of wine. For the wine drinker, you can’t go wrong with sharing a great bottle of wine with your bestie. My current favorites are Michael David Freakshow and Whispering Angel Rose and even better if you package it up in a cute wine tote! My favorites are by Here’s to Happy.

4. Books: For the bookworm on your list like me, I love to escape in a good read- especially a rom com at the end of a long day! My favorite reads of the year are (not surprisingly by two of my favorite 2020 authors) People we meet on Vacation by Emily Henry and Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez and for a personal development masterpiece, Buy Yourself the F-ing Lillies by Tara Schuster is for anyone in your life who’s still trying to figure things out (isn’t that all of us?!). Tara is hilarious and real and this makes a GREAT gift!

5. Shore Soap charcoal + clay mask. Shore soap is a great all natural local company to us here in Rhode Island, but they ship! I turned my IRL bestie onto this charcoal mask six years ago, and she still buys it religiously!

6. A cute loungewear set. Because we all need a little extra cozy, in the wintertime (or anytime!). This set is affordable, comfortable and comes in a ton of cute patterns!

7. An experience, of course! Whether it’s a mani-pedi (provided you didn’t buy her the O&J set, of course!), massage or skydiving- what would she love to do that she might not buy on her own?

For your mom:

1. Mixtiles with family photos. Have you seen these? They literally stick to your wall! Not saying I’m buying these for multiple people on my list… but pull out those family photos, and print these off for everyone you know (they start at $11 each!).

2. Really great skincare- because mom deserves a little luxury! I’ve fallen in love with TULA this year and I think everyone would love the TULA Skin Care Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm. It brightens your eyes and makes you feel a little more awake, even with no makeup on! The shore soap masks are also a great pick for mom!

3. A great candle. Speaking of a little luxury- I love Shore Soap’s soy candles. Their scents are great (I actually use their roll-on perfume as my scent!) and they’re non-toxic, which is an important bonus!

4. A great book to get lost in. My current read is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I just started reading this one- about an old Hollywood film icon telling her story to a random magazine reporter, and their realization that their lives intersect. This is one to gift!

5. Lisa Leonard necklaces. I have been a fan of Lisa Leonard for years- and this birthstone necklace makes the perfect grandma gift- it’s subtle, simple and beautiful- and she can show off her grandkids’ birthstones!

6. Pearl earrings from Maris Pearl. I met Stephanie, the creator, over a decade ago- and not only is she the sweetest human, she has the most beautiful ethically created, female-owned pearl business- I got a set of these earrings for my mom and sister last year and they are truly GORGEOUS.

7. Smeg Electric kettle. This is THE gift for the tea lover in your life. It’s SO pretty. Yes, it’s a little more pricey, but mom’s worth it!

For the foodie, aspiring chef (or host):

1. (Obviously) a super cute apron- Hedley and Bennett is a chef favorite, but I’ve really loving the look of the smock aprons- here’s a great inexpensive one from Etsy.

2. Cookbooks- Salt Fat Acid Heat + The Flavor Bible are my GO-TO’s for anyone learning how to cook! Heck, if you don’t have these, grab them yourself (and don’t forget to sign up for a cooking class, while you’re at it!)

3. A great knife. The Global vegetable knife is a great starter- or a great chef’s knife, if the aspiring foodie in your life doesn’t already have one! Global knives are light and sharp, and really reasonably priced for a knife that will last you years to come!

4. A great charcuterie board. I couldn’t leave this one off the list! A round board is great for gathering- this one is beautiful and inexpensive, perfect for your favorite host’s next party!

5. A great sea salt. This company is local to us in the Ocean state, and their salt is truly magical! They even have tiny little tins to take on the go with you- the cutest stocking stuffer!

6. Spicy Shark Hot Honey. Another small New England business, and they have a mission to actually help the sharks, as well- their hot honey is the BEST hot honey I’ve tried, and their hot sauces are pretty great, too.

7. A pizza stone. You will NOT regret using a pizza stone for your next homemade pizza, I promise! It makes the MOST difference outside of actually building yourself a brick oven (future house goals!).

8. Le Crueset Everyday Pan/Braiser or this Target one. This is my go-to pan for sauteeing, braising and more. It can be used on the stove or in the oven- perfect for anything you want to finish in the oven. The Le Crueset pan is a little pricey, but 100% worth it for the long haul. The Target version is a close second- so grab it as a great gift or ask for it yourself as you’re saving for the Le Crueset version!

For the cocktail lover:

1. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon. It’s no secret I’m a bourbon lover, and this is my favorite middle of the road sipping bourbon. It’s got great flavor, aged 12 years in oak barrels, but it won’t hurt your wallet (too much).

2. Carpano Antica Vermouth + Really great cherries. Uplevel your gift receiver’s cocktails with some really great ingredients- like a good vermouth and some bourbon soaked cherries. They make a huge difference- I promise!

3. Death & Co Book. This is THE definitive guide to modern cocktails, by the owners of Death & Co cocktail bar in NYC. I’ve bought this for multiple people for gifts- it makes a great coffee table book, as well!

4. You can’t go wrong with a great cocktail set- I love these beautiful gold ones from Target & Amazon.

5. A great set of glasses. I LOVE these Crate & Barrel Gold Coupe glasses– please, someone buy them as a gift in my honor and serve something delicious at your next party!6. For the wine lover, I was just introduced to the wonder that is the Electric Wine opener. Game changer!

7. A great set of bitters. Only a few drops of bitters can change the entire flavor of a cocktail- so these are perfect for the aspiring mixologist in your life!

For the runner:

1. Flipbelt Elite. I’ve been using a running belt for years, but the elite is perfect for the runner who needs a place to store keys, water, fuel, phone- I store all of them in this comfy belt, it ACTUALLY stays put and never chafes- safe to say I won’t go back!

2. Garmin Forerunner watch This is the watch I get asked about again and again when I share about running over on Instagram! The GPS is great, I love all the data the app gives me and it’s super easy to use on long runs.

3. Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve. My FAVORITE long sleeve for running in cool temperatures, by far. Comfortable and sweat wicking- worth every penny!

4. Jsport Wireless earbuds. Look ma, no cords! These were a game changer during this year’s marathon training! I like the feature that allows you to hear outside noise when you need to be aware in heavily trafficked areas.

5. Rise & Run cookbook. This one is on my personal wishlist (I have their first cookbook). Shalane Flanagan is a running legend (if you know, you know!) and her friend Elise, her co-author is a trained chef! Together, they make runner-friendly recipes, and this one is all about starting your day on the right food (literally and figuratively!). Their superhero muffins are a MUST-try.

6. Runnerbox. This is a new discovery for me, I mean who doesn’t love getting mail every month (and as a runner, trying new gear and fuel!). This is perfect for the runner in your life!

We can’t forget the kiddos:

1. The Cutest Kids Apron. Get the little sous chef in your life excited to come into the kitchen with you! This adorable inexpensive apron comes in two sizes, depending on how tall your tiny chef is!

2. To go with the apron- empower your kids in the kitchen with a kid-safe knife! This starter set is great for kids under 6 and this more advanced knife is great for older kids!

3. Fun family board game: Our current family favorites are Catch the Fox, Exploding Kittens, The Oregon Trail!

4. Experiences. Allll the experiences. The aquarium, the zoo, children’s museum, rock climbing, trampoline park or something local to your area- experiences make the gift so much more special (and it’s one less thing to have in your house!).

5. LEGO DOTS. My girls are obsessed with these- they’re LEGOs-meets-crafting! You can make everything from keychains to bracelets to pencil holders. Of course, we love the classic legos, too!

6. You can’t go wrong with a great book- some of our favorites (that we love as adults, too) are the Dragons Love Tacos series, Those Darn Squirrels, The Mother Bruce series. They’re great for family reads!

7. Kiwi Crate/Koala Crate. Some of our favorite gifts our kids have received have been gifts that come every month! They’ve both LOVED these age-appropriate craft boxes that are STEAM building and SO fun to do together. Kiwi Crate even has a new Yummy Crate for the aspiring chef in your life!That’s it, friends- I hope you loved this year’s list! For more ideas, shop my Amazon Store for all of my Amazon favorites!

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