by Brooke Bartlett
Food baskets are a practical gift option for family, friends, colleagues and clients. Although popular during the holiday season, a delicious basket full of yummy food is the perfect way to mark other special occasions, such as a new baby, home purchase, anniversary or birthday. The special people in your life are sure to enjoy your thoughtful gift, especially when you take care to select food gift baskets that reflect their preferences.
Consider allergies: When purchasing a food gift basket for someone, you should try to find out if they have any food allergies and avoid baskets that contain allergens. Nut and dairy allergies are common, and many gift baskets feature both nuts and cheeses. You have many other options for allergy sufferers. The recipient will be touched that you considered his special needs. Read the labels to make sure products are not made on machinery shared with foods containing allergens.
Think healthy: Some individuals have special circumstances that can severely limit their food choices. Certain physical ailments can put a damper on a gift basket that is chock-full of forbidden treats like summer sausage or decadent chocolates. You can still purchase a food basket for people with these special considerations. Look for sugar-free candy, fruit and nut baskets or coffees and teas that are packaged with nonfood items, such as mugs or coasters.
Check dates: Many gift baskets contain foods with a long shelf life; however, some contain perishables, so you'll need to be sure the recipient is available to accept the delivered food basket in a timely manner. Also, some companies only deliver on certain days of the week. If you want to celebrate a special event, check delivery dates.
Look for favorites: Many specialty companies offer baskets filled with many variations of a single favorite treat. Hot chocolate lovers would appreciate a basket with many flavors of that soothing winter drink. Cheese fans might like a basket with several cheese selections, along with crackers. Breakfast lovers will smile at a food gift basket filled with jams, spreads and pastries.
Find a theme: If you have a friend who is obsessed with or likes to collect certain items, search for a food basket that incorporates that trend. Coca-Cola lovers would be tickled by a basket filled with Coke-themed candies, beverages and accessories. Other themed selections include wine baskets, picnic baskets, tea baskets and cookie baskets.