Join us in this post as we highlight – health and wellness gifts for autistic adults! We suggest various cooking tools, exercise equipment, a selection of relaxing gifts, cooking classes, and meal delivery services! This collection includes something for everyone, with a theme of making life easier!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links with which I may earn a small commission but at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links help bloggers like me to provide you with free content. All opinions expressed here are genuine.
DISCLAIMER: We both acknowledge that while we are not neurodivergent, it would be ideal for someone who identifies as neurodivergent to write this type of blog post, but there are not many neurodivergent healthcare professionals. I, as a registered dietitian, have a lot of experience working with these folks, so many of these recommendations are tools that have helped my clients with meal prep, cooking, exercise, and more.
Last updated: November 27, 2023
Gift Ideas for Adults with Autism
The Holiday season is here! First of all, happy holidays to anyone celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Chinese New Year, or any other holiday! It really is a wonderful time of the year!
As we all know, the Holiday season is a time of gift giving and receiving! And with the new year right around the corner this is the time of year where people tend to set health-related goals.
Some people set goals to start meal planning, cooking more frequently at home, start some self-care practices, exercise more, etc! But, people have different goals in mind, so it can make gift giving a bit challenging!
Therefore, we thought we would make a list of 60 health and wellness gifts for autistic adults to help you this Holiday season!
Please note that these gift ideas are relevant for all year round, not just the holiday season.
We know that everyone is unique, so it is best to choose a gift based on someone’s personal interests! When choosing a gift for someone, we recommend first asking them what they like.
However, we know that option is not always available, hence this blog post of 60 gifts for autistic adults.
Below, you will see that we categorized the gifts based on people’s interests to make it easier for you, the gift giver!
You will find gifts in the following categories:
- Cooking Tools
- Meal Kit Delivery Services
- Cooking Classes
- Exercise Equipment
- Relaxation Gifts
Now, I know many if you don’t have time to read through this entire article, so here are my top 3 health & wellness gifts for autistic adults.
Top 3 Health & Wellness Gifts for Autistic Adults
Instant pot: Instant Pot Ultra 60 Ultra-Electric Pressure Cooker
The instant pot is one of the BEST gifts for autistic adults because it saves time, eliminates many cooking barriers, simplifies cooking, and is versatile. It is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets because it gets the job done, well, instantly. And it eliminates many barriers to cooking that are common in folks with executive dysfunction.
I recommend it to many of my autistic adults because you can make so many delicious, easy one-pot meals such as soups, stews, curries, chilis, pasta dishes, and proteins (such as beef, chicken, or fish).
Air fryer: COSORI Air Fryer
Air fryers are another awesome gift for autistic adults because it makes cooking so much easier. You might be surprised by this but you can cook almost anything in the air fryer, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks! You can also make healthier versions of common popular foods such as fries or chicken nuggets and they come out crispy and delicious without being fried with tons of oil. It just makes things simple! Also, If you do end up purchasing the air fryer, check out my 15 Air Fryer Breakfast Recipes. You have to try the french toast– it really is heavenly!
I love smoothies, I make them about 3-5 times per week and I often recommend them to my neurodivergent clients as well. Smoothies are great for having a balanced, filling meal in one. This peanut butter cup smoothie is the most popular recipe on my blog.
Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get in extra fruit, veggies, protein, and fiber. The fact that they are so simple to make is a big plus for autistic folks struggling with executive dysfunction. Blenders are awesome gifts for autistic adults looking to eat healthier and foster their kitchen skills!
This Ninja blender is a great option for anyone who likes to have smoothies in the morning because the base is a large cup, so you have no extra dishes! If you’re looking for smoothie recipes, check out my 13 Smoothies for Picky Eaters Collection.
I have the Vitamix blender which is absolutely amazing, it blends everything so smoothly. It is on the pricier side but is worth the investment. Check it out here.
This blender is under $50 and is a more affordable option.
For those of you who have a little more time, let’s take a look at these – health and wellness gifts for autistic adults!
This gift guide is divided into the following categories:
- Cooking Tools
- Meal Kit Delivery Services
- Exercise Equipment
- Self Care Gifts
Health & Wellness Gifts for Autistic Adults – Cooking Tools
Cooking tools are my personal favorite gift! They make cooking easy, fun, and simple! They are perfect gifts for autistic adults who are looking to develop cooking skills and independence in the kitchen. I recommend them to many of my clients. Here are my top choices for gift giving this year!
Instant Pot: Instant Pot Ultra Pressure Cooker
The instant pot makes life simple. It is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets because it gets the job done, well, instantly. I use mine to make a variety of soups and stews in the colder months. You can make a countless number of one-pot, nourishing meals in the instant pot. Just put all the ingredients in, set it and forget it.
One of my neurodivergent clients told me he loves his instant pot because he knows he cannot fail with the recipes and they won’t burn, unlike when he makes meals on a stovetop.
Slow Cooker: Crock-Pot Oval Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are quite the opposite of Instant Pots, but they are also one of my favorites. This is perfect for someone who wants to have dinner ready when they arrive home from work. It is also a great edition to your kitchen when your stovetop and oven are in use! That being said, it is sure to come in handy this Holiday season. Like the Instant Pot, you can make easy, delicious, one pot meals with your slow cooker.
Here are some other slow cookers:
Hamilton-Beach Slow Cooker
Air Fryer: COSORI Air Fryer
You might be surprised by this but you can cook anything in the air fryer, including breakfast, dinner, and snacks! If you’re looking for recipes, check out my 15 Air Fryer Breakfast Recipes. The french toast is truly amazing!
Rice Cooker: Black+Decker Personal Size Rice Cooker
With this kitchen gadget, you will never have to worry about undercooked or overcooked rice again! It makes cooking easy by allowing you to focus on the main course! And don’t worry, when the rice is done, the rice cooker will keep it warm until you’re ready to serve dinner. Many of my neurodivergent clients have told me how easy their rice cookers are to use!
Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get in extra fruit, veggies, protein, and fiber. The fact that they are so simple to make is a big plus for autistic folks struggling with executive dysfunction.
Blender #2: Ninja 400-Watt Blender/Food Processor
If you’re looking for a bigger blender, this is a fantastic option! You simply pop the top on and press down, so there is no technology to worry about!
Reusable Meal Prep Containers: Ello 10 Pc Duraglass Glass Meal Prep Storage Containers Set
If you know someone who intends to start meal prepping in January, food storage containers are a great gift for them. These containers are all reusable, freezer-friendly, and microwave-safe.
Meal prep is a critical skill for autistic adults to develop: it helps them save time, develop independence, and enables them to have nutritious meals and snacks ready in advance of when hunger strikes. You can read more about meal planning and neurodiversity here.
You can use meal prep containers to portion out individual meals from a large batch of a recipe to last you for the week. This reduces decision anxiety and simplifies your life so you have time to focus on other things. Reusable containers are a fantastic gift for autistic adults looking to become more independent in the kitchen.
Bento Boxes: Jeopace Bento Box for Adults
If you know someone who is looking to pack their lunch everyday but does not want to meal prep, this is for them! I like this option because it is very visual; you can see how much of certain food groups you’re eating!
Cooking Pots & Pans: Goodful All-in-One Pan
Who doesn’t love new cookware? Jokes aside, cooking pots or pans make wonderful gifts for autistic adults who want to learn how to cook.
The above multipurpose pan is easy to clean and is dishwasher safe. It’s an all-in-one pan that you can use to saute, stew, pan-fry, deep fry, boil, or poach making it a great choice for beginner cooks .
Here are some other options:
Affordable option – Clockitchen Non-Stick Cookware Set
Time Stamped Water bottle: ETDW Gallon Water Bottle with Straw and Time Marker
If you know someone who is trying to increase their fluid intake, this is a great gift! It makes drinking water easy in two ways 1) you only have to fill it once because it has 9 cups of water, which is the daily requirement for most individuals and 2) It is labeled with time stamps to remind yourself to drink throughout the day, so you can keep yourself accountable without having to look elsewhere! The visual reminder is perfect for autistic adults who may go several hours forgetting to drink water.
Reusable bags (silicone): Greenzla Reusable Storage Bags
Do you know someone who likes to be a bit more environmentally friendly? This is for them! I love my reusable silicone bags! They are also great for meal prep to store snacks in throughout the week. These make fantastic gifts for autistic adults!
Lunch bag: BYTEDREAM Lunch Bag
Has your lunch ever leaked into your favorite bag? It is the worst, right? A lunch box is a simple, small gift that can make all the difference! Trust me.
Thermos: GOOD FOR YOU Insulated Food Flask
I am a firm believer that everyone needs a good thermos. Believe it or not, they are quite versatile! This is a great gift for someone who likes outdoor activities like camping, skiing, or picnics, and can also be used for everyday use, like packing lunches! I like to keep soup in my thermos, check out my favorite recipes here:
- Roasted Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup – Jackie Silver Nutrition
- Lemon Chickpea Vegetable Orzo Soup (One Pot & Meal Prep) – Jackie Silver Nutrition
- Creamy Coconut Milk, Pumpkin and Mushroom Risotto Recipe – Jackie Silver Nutrition
But it doesn’t stop here! A thermos is great for anything hot like curries, rice, noodles, and drinks and also anything cold like smoothies, yogurt or fruit!
Health & Wellness Gifts for Autistic Adults – Meal Kit Delivery Services
Meal kit delivery services have become very popular since the pandemic! Many of my clients use these services and I often recommend them.
They give you nutritious meals with simple instructions and minimal prep for you. This is a great option for people who easily get bored of meals or run out of ideas, are too tired to cook from fatigue or pain, or have very busy schedules.
They are a great option when you’re having a really busy week or month! They literally eliminate all of the weekly planning and grocery runs, making life easier! This makes a fantastic gift for autistic adults looking to eat healthier but who may not have the time or energy to cook an entire meal from scratch themselves!
Meal kit services are perfect for autistic adults because they eliminate all the executive dysfunction barriers they face when trying to plan meals (such as thinking of recipes, chopping veggies, grocery shopping, etc.).
Meal Kit Delivery Services Available in Canada (in no particular order; the following are not affiliate links unless otherwise specified):
- Goodfood – available in many Canadian provinces
- Chefs Plate – available in many Canadian provinces
- Hello Fresh (affiliate link) – available in many Canadian provinces
- Plant Prepped – deliver to most of Ontario and Quebec
- Cook It – deliver to Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritime Provinces
- Heart to Home Meals – they deliver pre-cooked, nutritious meals to seniors. They offer free delivery in most of Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba
- Honey Bee Meals – this differs from a meal kit delivery service because they deliver fully prepared meals so all you need to do is heat it up and enjoy! They deliver in Toronto and most of the GTA
US Meal Kit Delivery Services (in no particular order; the following are not affiliate links unless otherwise specified):
These are just a few. There are dozens of meal kit delivery services in the US. Click here for a full list.
Health & Wellness Gifts for Autistic Adults – Cooking Classes
For my clients who are in the greater Toronto area (GTA), I would highly recommend the cooking classes at George Brown College. If you know someone who wants to learn how to cook, but needs a bit of direction, this is a fantastic gift! They have a variety of cuisine options, including french, african, BBQ, Indian, Italian, etc. They also offer lessons that will assist in skill development, like knife skills classes.
Here is the link: Cooking | Subject | George Brown College Continuing Education
For those wanting to purchase cooking classes as a gift for someone, I encourage you to search for options in your area. Cooking can be a difficult learning process, but when you’re guided by professionals, it can be an enjoyable experience that provides you with life long skills!
Health & Wellness Gifts for Autistic Adults – Exercise Equipment
Please note that we are NOT personal trainers and we are not giving specific exercise advice. You should always consult with your doctor and/or healthcare team before starting a new workout regimen. We know that many autistic adults want to exercise more so we are recommending products that may assist with that but please note that these are not tailored recommendations and they are more general.
Whether you’re looking to workout, get outside more often for walks and fresh air, or just enjoy some me time, these are an awesome addition to your collection!
Many of my autistic clients have told me they love noise canceling headphones when outside because it blocks out all the sensory stimulation from the environment. These make an awesome gift for autistic adults who are looking to exercise more while being able to reduce stimulation from the environment and help them focus.
More options: INFURTURE H1 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
Apple watch: Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS, 38mm)
For my Apple users, this watch is a game changer. Apple watches track everything, without you having to do it yourself! So if you’re curious about your step count, resting heart rate, sleep patterns, etc, this watch has got you covered! It is great for someone who wants to see their health statistics but does not want to go looking for them! Essentially, it makes life easier!
Here is another fabulous option for my non-Apple users! One thing I like about my Fitbit is the app that comes with it. There is a lot of health related information on the app that can help you set goals and achieve them! It keeps you accountable– but without having to do any of the groundwork!
You can’t go wrong with a yoga mat! A simple gift for someone who wants to be a little more active. This one comes with a strap and has an extra inch of thickness, making it super soft!
Resistance bands: Gritin Resistance Bands
Resistance bands go great with a yoga mat! They can help you stretch before a workout, or can be used to strengthen your muscles! Plus, they’re great for working out from home.
Wii fit balance board
Have you heard of Wii Fit? It is an awesome video game! Wii Fit is an exercise game, so you can play games while exercising! It is a great gift for those who love video games and are interested in being physically active but have a hard time stepping into the “zone” of working out!
Mini trampoline: Darchen Mini Indoor Trampoline for Adults
This is a fun way to get your workout in! Some of my clients have told me that they enjoy trampoline workouts as it is a way for them to channel their added energy. I believe this could be a great health and wellness gift for autistic adults. Let me know in the comments if you think so too!
Portable Exercise Bike: DeskCycle Under Desk Bike
If you know someone who struggles with sitting still, this is an awesome gift! Exercise increases mental focus, so using this mid-day really helps sharpen people’s focus! Plus you can watch TV or listen to fun music while moving.
More options: TODO Mini Exercise Bike Pedal Exerciser
Foam Roller: AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller
These are delightful gifts! Nothing feels better than a big stretch! Am I wrong?
Jump rope: XMIAO Jump Rope, 2 Pack
Know someone who wants to exercise but does not have the time? This is a great gift for busy people who just want to get a bit of exercise in during their day.
Hand Grip Strengthener: Pnrskter Hand Grip Strengthener (6 PCS)
Grip strengtheners are great for people who need to fidget with something while concentrating. They are great to have by your desk, so you can use it whenever needed.
Health & Wellness Gifts for Autistic Adults – Relaxation Gifts
Weighted Blanket: GOHOME Weighted Blanket for Adult
Weighted blankets are wonderful for most people but especially for neurodivergent folks. Many of my autistic clients have told me that weighted blankets help them feel grounded, relaxed, and calm when they feel anxious. You can’t go wrong with it!
Essential Oil Diffuser: Aromacare Essential Oil Diffuser
The word that comes to mind is ahhh…I really love my essential oil diffuser. Something is just so relaxing about it. Maybe it is the fact that you can customize your scents! Regardless, they are an amazing gift for autistic adults who love the sensory experience of beautiful aromas in their room.
Essential oils: Essential Oils by Pure Essentials
In case you’re interested in the diffuser, here are some oils to go with it! And, I will say– you can’t go wrong with the basics! This pack has eucalyptus, lavender, lemon grass, orange, peppermint, tea tree! My personal favourite is lavender.
Health & Wellness Gifts for Autistic Adults – Cookbooks
Meal prep cookbook: Smart Meal Prep for Beginners
Do you know someone who is interested in starting meal prepping but does not know where to begin? This will help guide them through the process of meal planning. Essentially, it removes the stress by providing you with nutritious recipes, shopping lists, and instructions!
I often teach my clients meal prep skills because they help eliminate the barriers to cooking and work well with executive dysfunction challenges.
Air fryers are a wonderful cooking device that help you make meals in minutes! If you know someone who has an air fryer, or maybe you’re giving someone an air fryer, this cookbook is a great option to go with it.
For many autistic adults, recipes with several ingredients are overwhelming and prevent them from cooking these dishes. That’s why I recommend this cookbook with 5-ingredient meals. Recipes can’t get much easier than that!
Another thing that my clients often struggle with is recipes that take long to make. People are busy and they don’t have the time to spend hours cooking elaborate dinners every night (myself included). I’m all about the simple, quick, nutritious recipes.
This is Jamie Oliver’s brand new cookbook that focuses on one pan meals. Executive dysfunction is a big barrier to meal planning for neurodivergent adults so anything that eliminates those barriers is going to make cooking easier. Having to use multiple pots and pans just to cook one dish is quite unappealing, in my opinion, which is why this one-pan cookbook is the antidote and is one of many great gifts for autistic adults.
There you have it, our round-up of 60 health and wellness gifts for autistic adults.
We hope you found this list helpful and that it gave you gift inspiration for your loved ones this holiday season (or any time of year)!
Let us know in the comments below what your favorite gift ideas are.
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out these ADHD gifts for adults.
Jackie is a Toronto-based Registered Dietitian whose mission is to empower and support the neurodivergent and physically disabled communities through nutrition. Jackie runs a virtual private practice and blog which has simple recipes and health information tailored to these communities. She loves cooking, exercising, traveling, journaling, and spending time with family and friends.