Sweet treats and delicious foods can be a lovely (and inexpensive) gift for someone you care about, but it's hard to avoid over-eating, whether you are the giver or the receiver of yummy cookies, breads, and candies.

Why not start your own tradition of giving healthy food gifts? For the grown-ups in your life, create a homemade soup mix in a jar by layering beans and spices—you can find a lot of recipes online. Wrap the jar with a pretty ribbon and include instructions for cooking the healthy soup. Flavored vinegars or homemade salad dressings are also a flavorful option many would enjoy. And people of all ages will be delighted to receive a batch of healthy homemade granola or tasty trail mix!

Here is one easy, healthy recipe you can try:

  • Mix one cup of whole wheat, unsweetened cereal (there are lots of brands that fit the bill) with one cup of pretzel sticks broken in half and a quarter cup of roasted almonds in a bowl.
  • Melt three tablespoons of bittersweet chocolate chips in the microwave (careful not to burn!) and drizzle over the mixture.
  • Stir to coat the mix, and then spread the mixture on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  • Chill for about a half hour.

This makes about four servings, but you can easily double or triple the recipe to make more.​