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Gifts of Good Health


When searching for the perfect gift for a friend or family member this holiday season, the Health Unit is encouraging you to consider these seven 'health-ful' hints:

Car emergency kit - The kits are ideal in the event of a car breakdown or emergency. Kits should contain items like a tow rope, jumper cables, warning flares, small fold-up shovel, wind-up flashlight, blanket and bottled water. complete car emergency kits are sold in stores, or can be assembled yourself. A list of items to include in the kit is available at Get Prepared.

Meat thermometer - Perfect for someone who loves to cook or barbecue, meat thermometers are key for measuring the safe internal temperature of meats to ensure they are properly cooked. Complement the gift by visiting the Healthy Canadians website and searching (then printing off) the ‘Safe Internal Cooking Temperatures Chart.’

A set of new or used snowshoes - Snowshoeing is a great winter pastime for the entire family. It helps build strength, agility, balance and endurance. If cost is an issue, look for used snowshoes through second-hand sports equipment stores or website.

Cook book - Encourage healthy eating by getting a recipe book for someone on your shopping list. Personalize the gift by offering a cooking demo or lesson with it. Dietitians of Canada has excellent recipe books to consider, as well as the online Cookspiration app for recipe ideas to suit any mood or schedule.

Items to prevent falls - Falls are a leading cause of injury for both the very young and old. For an older adult, purchasing a walker or cane can help to prevent falls; so too can installing grab bars in their bathroom to help them sit and stand. This winter, offering to shovel the walkway and driveway of an older family member or neighbour is also a great gift idea. For families expecting a baby of who have a young child, consider giving gates (pressure-mounted gates at the bottom of stairs; wall-mounted gates at the top of stairs) to prevent falls. Quick-release window guards can also be a best buy to keep young children from falling through upper-floor windows.

App-propriate add-on for mobile devices - Customize the cellphone you are purchasing for someone by preloading the Can Immunize app onto it. The Can Immunize app allows users to: keep track of immunizations for their entire family, receive reminders when vaccinations are due, access recommended vaccination schedules for their province, get medical appointment reminders, get answers to many vaccine questions, and receive alerts of disease outbreaks in their area.

Gift of time - Setting aside time to do something with a child, older parent or other family member can be precious and priceless. Consider something you both enjoy, be it an outdoor winter activity, going on a day trip, seeing a movie, doing a craft, playing a game, or working on a building project. The ideas are only limited by your creativity!