9 Top Holiday Food Gift Ideas Gone Wrong


While the most popular place for holiday shoppers are online discount stores, followed by department stores, about 45 percent of shoppers still plan to purchase some gifts at the grocery store, according to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.

holiday treats

A bowl of your homemade muffins you may feel are filled with love, but giving them to your gluten-intolerant neighbor would not be.

In fact, candy and food spending is expected to increase along with overall holiday-related shopping. Shoppers are anticpated to spend an average of 10% more on food related gifts over last year.

A food item can indeed make a very thoughtful, not to mention delicious, gift. But before you start pre-heating the oven or heading over to your local gourmet shop with ready-to-be-filled gift baskets in hand, make sure you are not making any of these food-related gift-giving blunders.

9 Food Gift Ideas Gone Wrong

1. Candy or Sweets for a Diabetic. People with diabetes of any form must avoid most sweets, so please do not make it any harder for them to resist the array of holiday sweets already around this time of year. Instead, consider delicious raw-foods which show you are tuned in to their needs and interested in their well-being.

2. Sugar-Free Candies for Someone with IBS. Many sugar-free candies contain maltitol, a sugar replacement that’s only partially digested and absorbed. This allows the undigested portion to ferment in the intestinal tract and attract water, which can cause uncomfortable intestinal issues for someone with IBS.

3. Resist the Fruitcake Urge. You may be tempted to purchase, or bake, those colorful, festive little loaves, but consider yourself warned — if you buy fruitcake as a gift you may find it at the brunt of every fruitcake joke at every family holiday for years to come.

4. Alcohol for a Former Alcoholic. Many people enjoy and appreciate a special bottle of wine or liquor as a gift, but be sure the receiver first enjoys a drink now and again and, second, does not have a drinking problem of any kind. Likewise, certain religious groups do not drink alcohol, so be sure you’re familiar enough with the receiver to know whether alcohol will be an appropriate gift.

The Perfect Gift for the Foodies on Your List?

You can avoid all the potential food gift-giving blunders by instead opting for food preparation and cooking gifts related directly to recipient’s health condition (if any) and favorite meals.

5. Sausages and Other Holiday Meats for a Vegetarian. This will not be appreciated and may be offensive. Similarly, be sensitive about giving meat products to those who only eat Kosher foods or avoid pork or pork products.

6. Baked Goods and Cookies for Your Friend Who’s Trying to Lose Weight. While the thought is there, the extra goodies may sabotage your friend’s extra efforts. Instead, consider treating him or her set of fitness DVDs.

7. Specialty Coffee for the Work-a-Holic. You may think your gourmet coffee idea is a clever “support system” for the 24/7 work-addict. But this sentiment is only furthering what could be a dangerous situation, leading to chronic stress and burnout. A better choice?

8. Candy and Sweet Drinks for Kids. Their parents may not appreciate the sugar-high that will follow once their kids down your innocent gift of sugar-water disguised as hot cocoa. Call or text to see what the parents would most appreciate for their children.

9. Baked Goods and Breads for Your Gluten-Intolerant Friend. Gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease, is a genetic digestive disorder that is triggered by the consumption of any foods that contain gluten — a protein found in many common foods that contain wheat, barley or rye such as bread, pasta, cookies and pizza crust.


National Retail Federation