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. Here are a few.
This European baby-food maker turns fresh, healthful vegetables, fruits, meats and other ingredients into pure, preservative- and additive-free meals for wee ones. $149.95 at www.williams-sonoma.com.
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 www.borders.com.
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 www.cookinglight.com/subscribe.
Alex Bogusky notes in his book The 9-Inch 'Diet' that switching from your standard 12-inch dinner plates to the formerly standard 9-inch size can save calories throughout the year and help you better gauge healthful portions. When shopping (at such retailers as Target and eBay), be aware that this smaller dish is often called a salad plate. Set of four Provence salad plates, $34 at www.target.com.
Journal and pen
Keeping a food journal is one of the most-recommended means of keeping your food consumption in check and identifying unhealthful eating patterns — so you can fix them! Barnes & Noble has a varied supply, and they're cheap. Toss in one of the new, bleed-free Sharpies for more writing pleasure. Journals from $5 at www.barnesandnoble.com. Sharpie is $2.49 at www.sharpie.com.
Mindfulness for Beginners audio CD
Jon Kabat-Zinn has helped Americans grasp 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 you eat it. $13.57 at www.amazon.com.
OXO Good Grips ginger peeler
Adding spices such as ginger to your diet boosts flavor without adding calories. As a bonus, 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. $7 at www.oxo.com.