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Share the Health: Great Holiday Gift Ideas

Focused on Health - December 2009

By Rachel Winters

gift-holidayGive the gift of health this holiday season. You don’t have to spend hours shopping to find the perfect present. Our gift guide has something for everyone.

Gym membership

MD Anderson recommends doing at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, every day to lower your chances of getting cancer. While this sounds easy to do on a clear, sunny day, it’s harder on days when the weather is hot, cold or wet.

A gym membership — or a gift certificate for classes at a yoga or pilates studio — gives people a way to work out no matter what Mother Nature has in store.  Or, wrap up a fun exercise DVD for home workouts!

Sun protective clothing

Fashionable sun protective clothing is a great gift for kids (the bathing suits are adorable), runners, gardeners or anyone who spends time outdoors. This UPF clothing uses a special fabric to protect the skin from UV rays that cause skin gift-kidscancer. And, the sun protective benefits  last through many washes.

Active gear for kids

Encourage the kids in your life to stay active for at least 60 minutes every day to lower their chances of getting cancer as adults. Rollerblades, a bike, scooter or ice skates are all good ideas — just make sure to buy a helmet, too!

If these items are too pricey, try a jump rope, hula-hoop, or any kind of ball or sports equipment.

Dark chocolate

In addition to being delicious, moderate amounts of dark chocolate may play a role in cancer prevention. Find beautifully packaged chocolates at gourmet chocolate shops, online or at your local drugstore.

To get the most cancer prevention benefits, choose chocolate with at least 65% cacao. Also, look for boxes that offer smaller serving sizes (aim for bonbons instead of candy bars). You shouldn’t eat more than one ounce of dark chocolate per day.

Green tea sampler

Studies suggest that the antioxidants in green tea may stop cancer cells from growing. You can find pretty green tea sampler packs at local chains, coffee shops, teahouses or gourmet grocery stores.

gift-fruit-basketWant to jazz up your gift? Give green tea with a tea kettle or set of china. Or, make your own sampler by using tissue paper and a wooden box. Green tea is available in mouth-watering flavors like blueberry and strawberry-rhubarb.

Fruit of the month club

Give a fruit-of-the-month club membership. These clubs deliver a fresh fruit basket one to four times a month to your lucky gift recipient. Or, make your own fruit basket! Buy tissue paper and an inexpensive, woven basket. Fill your basket with fresh produce at a supermarket or farmer’s market.

Fruit is a great gift because it contains tons of antioxidants and plant chemicals that help the body fight cancer.


Know someone who loves to cook? A steamer is a great gift because it cooks food without using oil or butter, which can add extra fat and calories to meals. Even better, steamers can cook vegetables in as little as ten minutes and with very little clean-up.

Making vegetables easier to prepare means busy family and friends will be more likely to eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Now that you’ve got a healthy gift idea for everyone on your list, don’t forget to include a card that explains how your special gift helps the recipient reduce their chances of getting cancer.

Your new season’s greeting can now be “Happy, healthy holidays!”

Related Links

Valentine’s Sweetest Treat (M. D. Anderson)

Fashion Forward Sun Protection (M. D. Anderson)

Green Tea (M. D. Anderson)

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center