Gifts for the athlete: my 21 best vegan gift ideas
Do you have a vegan, or a teen, or an athlete in your life, and have no clue what to do as this year’s gift giving season approaches? What about a vegan teen athlete?!?
Or maybe you are the vegan teen athlete, and you’ve been asked for a gift list (again) and have no idea what to put on there (again).
Or maybe you just like gift idea lists!
Here is a roundup of some of my favorite vegan stocking stuffers and gifts for the athlete. They’re actually perfect for vegans, athletes, teens, or anyone!
** Note: this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Stocking Stuffers – small gifts for the athlete
1. Socks **
Declare your love for your plant-based lifestyle – or sometimes just for cute animals on socks – on your feet! These socks are fab.
2. Buttons and Stickers
I am so serious that Herbivore carries the best buttons and stickers ever ever ever. Here’s one of my favorites, but absolutely poke around the site and see what else they have! OK fine, here’s another.
3. Travel Utensils **
You know you’re eating on the run, so why not be prepared? This little kit of bamboo utensils includes fork, knife, spoon, straw (plus a cleaner!), chopsticks, and it all hangs in its little case from a carabiner.
4. Pencil Case
I don’t even know. I just like it. And it’s from Herbivore, so you can get this with all of your buttons and stickers.
5. Plant-based Jerky **
With 7g of protein per serving (or 19 grams in the entire package), these plant-based jerky products make a great portable snack. And the two-pack lets you try both the Teriyaki and Chipotle flavors.
6. Vegan Candies **
When you think “athlete” you think “jelly beans” right?
Okay, Maybe not. But these can make great pre-game small snacks. And it can be hard to find jelly beans, candies, or fruit snacks without gelatin or beeswax! And because these are organic, you know they’re made with vegan sugar.
7. Gifts cards to fast food restaurants
I know, I know. Why is a dietitian recommending fast food? Because.
How often has your team stopped off for food on the way home from a game? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the cost of that meal covered? Gift cards to the places your team tends to stop can be a great gift.
(So, yes, this can add up to be an expensive gift. Why is it included in stocking stuffers? Because gift cards are little!)
8. Hot Chocolate Mix **
Almost all hot chocolate mixes of the “just add water” variety use dairy products. Yes, you can always make your own using milk and sugar and cocoa powder and vanilla, but this product, Starbucks Double Chocolate, splits the difference. Just add this to your own milk of choice, and voila! Hot chocolate!
(Why not plop some minty vegan marshmallows in here too?! See #12, below.)
(Again, no guarantee on the sugar in here.)
Perfect Presents – gifts for the athlete at a range of prices
9. Cool Shirt
If anyone has ever questioned your ability to be both vegan and strong, wear this fabulous shirt! Not everyone knows that the gorilla is ALSO VEGAN! The shirt comes in a ton of colors, sizes up to 3X, and has great reviews. Not only that, you get to support a small business!
(And for real, spend some time poking around the shop, Take It Down A Nooch. Notspon, I just really like the stuff.)
Just like it says on the website, “we all know cold ears suck”. Whether you’re running or hiking or just being outdoors this winter, use a great beanie to stay warm. (And if you’ve never shopped here before, be sure to sign up for their mailing list and get 15% off your first order! This offer was available as of the writing of this article.)
11. Cookbook **
If you’ve got someone in your life who likes to cook, or wants to learn, why not a cookbook written just for them? This book is full of good info and yummy recipes, without the side order of diet culture I so often see in cookbooks.
12. Peppermint Marshmallows **
I’ll be honest: it was hard for me to give up marshmallows when I first gave up animal products. Lo and behold, vegan marshmallows! This version, in mini size with peppermint flavor, is perfect for cocoa, or just for snacking on. (These are Kosher Pareve, so there is for sure no bone char remnants in the product, but there is no indication whether or not bone char is used. Just FYI.)
If you don’t like mint, Dandies makes some great regular marshmallows as well.
13. Blender Bottle **
Sometimes you can’t travel with a liquid smoothie, and ready-to-drink protein shakes can get pricey. Have you ever tried adding protein powder to your water bottle and just shaking it up? Yeah, no. The results are Not Good. Enter: Blender Bottle, with its little sphere of shakey-goodness. You can get these in classic colors, or go for a theme. (I have no clue what themes are cool right now, or if y’all even use the word cool anymore.) Look for Marvel and Harry Potter and Star Wars and Disney blender bottles. Or classic. Whatever.
14. Wheatgrass Growing Kit **
If you like to add shots of wheatgrass to your smoothies or juices, why not grow your own? This wheatgrass growing kit makes it super easy.
(Just a note though – it says you can also use it for cat grass. Which is true. But before you feed a lot of it to your cat, make sure your cat can handle it. Our cat… sent the grass right back up again. Merry Christmas?)
15. Casual Sneakers
Did you know that for a shoe to be truly vegan, you have to consider more than just “no leather”? The glue is a potential issue, as are other materials. Fortunately, Adidas has come out with two of their classic casual sneakers in vegan versions: the Samba (in men’s sizing) and Continental (in women’s sizing). Each are typically under $100.
18. Recycled Backpack **
Many people become vegan because they care about the environment. So why not carry a bag that is made from recycled materials. Eleven plastic water bottles were used to create each one of these, and look at all the colors!
16. Water Bottle **
Look, I know Hydro Flasks are a *thing* but they are also just fantastic water bottles. With the standard top, this can be used for hot or cold liquids, and you can just toss it in your bag because it’s leak proof! Many of the sizes can make a convenient bottle for carrying.
17. Meal Prep and Travel Containers **
In my anti-diet world, the words “meal prep containers” have a very negative connotation. They’re for people who are so afraid of their cravings and appetites that they have to have everything planned and portioned. But meal prepping can be extremely convenient for busy practice evenings, and if they’re prepped in a portable container, even better for away games.
For home use, I recommend something made from glass. But you can’t take a glass container on a bus! So, here are some plastic meal prep and travel containers to help keep you fueled, wherever life takes you.
Serious Splurges – more expensive gifts for the athlete
19. Meal Subscription Service
Many meal subscription services have vegetarian plans, but if you’re vegan, you’d have to poke through every recipe to make sure it’s right for you. And so many others are focused on “low-calorie” or “lean” plans, I would hesitate to gift them to anyone, let alone a teen or an athlete. So what do I recommend?
Check out Purple Carrot. They have a Meal Kit option, which provides the ingredients and the recipe and you cook the meal. They also have options for heat-and-serve meals called Prepared Meals. Whichever you choose, it’s 100% vegan.
20. Vegan Cold Weather Running Shoes
Adidas to the rescue again with the Outdoorboost 2.0 COLD.RDY. (No, I don’t work for them.) These shoes are highly recommended for cold-weather running. Pricey! But apparently worth it.
21. A Blender! **
I know, I know. The Vitamix is the most expensive blender ever. But it’s also super great. And I know from personal experience, the customer service is stellar during the warranty period.
So what are the best vegan gifts for the athlete? I can’t tell you! But for sure, there are all sorts of gifts ideas available for any vegans, teens, or athletes on your list. If you need any help navigating this, just ask!
About the Author
Sarah Skovran, RDN LD ACE-PT, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, ACE certified personal trainer, mom of a teen athlete, and is mostly vegan. She writes about sports nutrition, plant based eating, and adolescent nutrition at Plant Powered Teens, and sees in-person clients at her private practice in Maine.