Ditch the Tie, Give Dad a Healthful Gift

Father’s Day gift ideas Dad will appreciate

By Nancy Cardillo

Each June, the third Sunday is set aside to honor our beloved Dads. Father’s Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1910, but it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon made it a federal holiday (58 years after Mother’s Day became an official holiday). Today, there are about 70 million Dads in the United States, and we spend an estimated $12 billion each year honoring them. That’s a lot of ties!

This year, why not give the man who gave you the greatest gift of all — life — a gift that will show much you love him and care about his health and well being?

Here are a variety of “healthful” gift ideas for the Dad in your life. (Hint: they also apply to husbands, brothers and sons).

Encourage Dad to enjoy a healthier diet.

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so how about getting Dad a gift basket full of healthy food items, such as fruits, nuts, granola bars, nut butters or popcorn? A Google search brings up a plethora of great ideas; you can even customize your gift if Dad is gluten free or allergic to a particular food.

If your Dad enjoys creating delicious dinner dishes, gift him with a cookbook full of healthy-food recipes. Or treat him to cooking lessons geared toward, say, plant-based or gluten-free recipes. (Hint: check Groupon for some great local deals).

For the weekend warrior grill master Dad, consider investing in a well-made stainless steel basket or rack so Dad can grill healthy vegetables or seafood — and maybe throw in a pair of BBQ mitts or grilling gloves for his safety and a grill thermometer to ensure the food is cooked to the proper temperature.

Give Dad a gift that shows you support his active lifestyle.

No matter his age, Dad needs to get regular exercise. Does your Dad golf? Play tennis? Run marathons? If so, how about getting him new golf or tennis balls; protective eyewear; good running shoes or inserts; reflective running gear or clothes that protect against the elements. If he walks the dog every day, a good sturdy walking stick would be appreciated.

Still trying to get Dad off the couch and into an exercise routine? A set of dumbbells or weighted armbands; resistance bands; a medicine ball; jump rope; balance ball or set of sliders are all easy ways to ease into exercise. Add to your gift by setting up designated times when you and Dad can work out together. (Hint: it’ll benefit both of you and strengthen your relationship.)

A fitness tracker or activity monitor will help Dad stay motivated as he tracks his activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep. (Hint: be sure to choose one that matches your Dad’s techno-savvy abilities so he’s more likely to use it).

Did you know there are now smart water bottles? They’ll track Dad’s water intake and send notifications to make sure he stays properly hydrated each day.

Make life a little more comfortable for Dad.

Since most of us don’t brush our teeth long enough or properly, consider getting Dad a smart toothbrush that will make good dental hygiene easier and more productive.

Does Dad spend a lot of time on his computer? How about getting him a pair of blue-blocking glasses that reduce eye fatigue from computer screen glare?

A sleep-tracking pad and therapeutic pillow will help Dad get in his eight hours of shuteye, and if he travels for work, a cashmere and silk eye mask will help ensure a more restful night’s sleep in a strange bed. (Hint: add in a meditation app for his phone, too).

The most priceless gift of all…

One of the most precious gifts you can give your Dad is the gift of your time.

Unlike something you can purchase, the time you spend with Dad is priceless.

Set aside a day to go birding or take a stroll along the waterfront. Rent bikes and set out to see the sights. Take in a baseball game together or go on one of many local historic or architectural tours. Take (golf, piano, cooking or painting) classes together. Ask Dad questions about his childhood, military service, his courtship with your mom and his career, find some old photos and put together a beautiful life history book for him.

Even though Dad surely considers you his greatest gift, these healthful options can help show Dad just how much you love him on Father’s Day…and every day!