Healthy Diwali gift ideas

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Another year has gone by and festival season is back again! Here are some alternative presents to the usual sweets
Another year has gone by and festival season is back again! India can never be complete without its special foods and good hospitality, and Diwali, the festival of lights, is the most awaited festival of India. And at this time, anyone even talking about dieting or healthy eating is deemed to be very unpopular.
It has been seen over the years that, right after the festival season, the rate of obesity and diabetes goes up. Therefore, experts warn that this festival fun, and not least, the culture of sweet-eating that peaks at the time, can help trigger long-term health problems, with diabetes only at the start. But with festivities all around it is very difficult to stay focused and adhere to a strict diet. It might start with a bite here and a bite there, but before we know we have suddenly eaten an extra plate full of extra calories. Counting calories at festivals is a big challenge.
Diwali is not complete without exchanging gifts for friends and family. The tradition of gifting mithai is a very old tradition. But many a time these days with people being a little calorie conscious, they do not tend to consume these and either the sweets are wasted or passed from one family to the other. So this Diwali, why not be a little untraditional and gift everyone the gift of health. Look a little more closely at gifts, and try to combine taste with health.
Here are a few ideas.
Fruit basket
A Fruit basket is the healthiest gift you can give anyone. Fill it up with different exotic fruits and give family and friends the perfect gift of health. According to dietary guidelines we should have at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day, but most of us do not have even one piece of fruit a day. Fruits such as oranges, limes, mangoes, strawberries, rockmelon, and pineapple are excellent sources of vitamin C that help to heal cuts and wounds, build up our immune system and keep our gums and teeth healthy. Bananas, prunes, dried peaches, apricots, honeydew, melons and oranges are good sources of potassium. Fruits are also a good source of fibre. Some fruits, such as avocadoes and olives are excellent sources of unsaturated fats.
Nuts and dried fruit
Nuts and dried fruit are always a great healthy gift idea. Prepare a basket, or a beautifully decorated thali with a bountiful array of different nuts such as walnuts, almonds, macadamias, Brazil nuts, or others, and exotic dried fruit, such as dates, dried apricots, peaches, pitted prunes or dried apples. Nuts are an excellent source of protein and unsaturated fats and dried fruits are an excellent source of fibre, as well as an ideal replacement to desserts and sweets.
Healthy desserts
If you are home and have time to prepare some desserts, these would be the ideal and most thoughtful gift. Try and use low fat ingredients like low fat milk and other dairy products. Use natural sweeteners like honey and dates to make sweets, and avoid using refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. You can also improve the nutritional value by using wholemeal flour and adding some fruit, such as berries and bananas, nuts and dried fruit.
Herbs and seasonings
With everyone bringing in sweets, wouldn’t it be good to spice up your gift baskets with some fresh herbs, spices, condiments and healthy salad dressings. An exotic basket with bottles of herbs, spices, and a bottle of olive oil, some seasonings and a bottle of balsamic vinegar or Dijon mustard is sure to be a welcome gift. This gift is not only for Diwali, as it is not perishable, and your friends can enjoy its contents for months (except for the fresh herbs that is).
Basket full of tea
We Indians love a cup of chai. And giving someone the gift of tea means giving them the opportunity to stop, relax and enjoy the moment, time and time again. Prepare a basket full of different types and flavours of tea such as herbal, Tulsi, green tea, organic tea, flavoured tea, and present it to them.
 Gift of light
Do not limit yourself to just sweet hampers; try to broaden your horizon and focus on other gifts too. Diwali being the festival of lights, pick up a variety of light symbols such as diyas and candle,s such as wax diyas, brass diyas, Lakshmi and Ganesh diyas. Attractive lanterns and lamps can also be gifted.
Home fragrances
Home fragrances, such as Diwali incense sticks, floating candles, fragrant sachets available in a large range of fragrances such as lemongrass, rose, orange and sandal might last for a long time.
The size of the gift should not matter, as even the smallest of gifts can be made to look elegant, but it the thought that matters. So this Diwali let’s give our friends and family thoughtful gifts, instead of giving for the sake of giving!

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