Cooking is the most stressful part of the holiday season. Forget waiting in long lines or searching for the perfect gift. That’s probably not a surprise if you cooked a holiday meal before. You’ve got to find old recipes, buy ingredients in a busy store and cook, at least, five different dishes simultaneously. And don’t you dare burn that turkey.

Some are simply opting for dining out on the holidays.

Cooking for picky eaters or different diets is more stressful than avoiding political talk, traveling and getting the right gift. In one survey, 46% of respondents said holiday cooking is burdensome.

This year, holiday meals will look different. Survey respondents are planning to eat smaller portions (43%), eat healthier (42%), purchase more sustainably sourced food (35%) and more plant-based options (32%).

The perfect holiday meal is one that’s healthy, tasty and good for the planet. Consumers have higher expectations for their food. Tom Riordan, president of Wisconsin-based supplier Maple Ridge Farms, says, the biggest change in food gifts is the move toward higher-quality gifts.

“When we entered the food gift market over 40 years ago, the most popular gifts included packages of tiny three-fourths ounce pieces of cheese with a few pieces of strawberry hard candy, canned hams, and tins of imported cookies—pretty unimpressive,” says Riordan “While there are still some exceptions, most of the market now prefers higher-quality, gourmet gifts. You can see evidence of this by simply paging through the catalogs of companies like Harry and David, Hickory Farms and Omaha Steaks. Last year, we introduced a $275 cheese package in our line—something we never would have considered in the past.”

Food is connection and comfort. Since the pandemic, Americans are cooking and baking more often. They are also buying more food gifts for themselves and others.  

There’s a place for promo in the kitchen. Simple cooking tools can make the holidays easier. Tools, gadgets and utensils save time and prevent injuries. Here are a few kitchen tools to make cooking less stressful.

This Fabio Viviani Prodigio Cookbook Stand comes with a signed cookbook. It keeps family recipes and electronic tablets clear of kitchen messes with a tempered glass frame. The rich acacia wood base will match any kitchen design.

Picnic Time Family of Brands / PPAI 143890, S6 /

This innovative bamboo cutting board with knife includes a built-in carving knife with a stainless-steel blade and soft touch handle. The natural bamboo cutting board features silicone corner accents to prevent the board from slipping as well as a swivel stand to display the board upright.

PCNA / PPAI 113079, S15 /

This holiday gift box makes it easy to spread good cheer to clients and employees. It comes with three holiday-worthy spices. Each spice tube features a sleeve or story booklet with an engaging holiday theme. This spice set contains minced onion, Mediterranean oregano and red pepper flakes.  

Le Tour de Spice / PPAI 762815, S1 /

Prevent garlic odor on fingers or countertops with this garlic peeler. It is made with flexible food grade silicone material. It has many little round bumps in the garlic peeling tube to easily to peel the garlic. Just cut off the head of the garlic and put it into the peeler, then rub with your hands. When done, shake peels out of the tube into the trash.

Nolwenn, LLC / PPAI 747582, S3 /

With a 165-foot range that connects to an app and allows grillers to select a meat and how they’d like it cooked, this wireless meat thermometer also tells grillers how long it needs to cook, along with details such as its internal, target and ambient temperatures. Besides burgers and steaks, this thermometer can help cook the chicken, turkey, fish or other meats perfectly every time for every occasion. The stainless steel and ceramic construction make this product water-resistant and easy to clean.

Hirsch / PPAI 221823, S10 /