Yummy Glitter-Free ‘Reindeer Food’ Recipes
A wonderfully helpful guest post on how to make reindeer food that’s 100% safe for birds and small animals, by Ginny Reid from the RSPCA …
It’s that time of year when Santa’s reindeer and looking after Britain’s wildlife are very much on our minds at the RSPCA.
Every Christmas Eve, Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and their reindeer friends work so hard delivering gifts to every good girl and boy. And we believe that rewarding them with some nourishing food is a lovely way of saying thank you to them.
But we do need to be careful what we leave out for them.
Some commercial ‘Reindeer Food’ may contain dangerous plastic and foil glitter as well as oats. If this type of food is eaten by hungry garden birds or mammals it could cause long-term damage to their digestive system. Not even food that is described as containing ‘edible glitter’ is safe for them.
So we have some special, delicious recipes which can be left outside for Rudolph and his friends which can also be enjoyed safely by the wildlife in people’s gardens.
The RSPCA’s reindeer food mix and reindeer cookie recipes are glitter-free , and require only simple store cupboard ingredients.
And they’re easy to make with the kids!
RSPCA’s reindeer cookie recipe
- 250g lard or suet (vegetable shortening works just as well too)
- 500g wild bird seed mix (which may include sunflower hearts, naked rolled oats, dried mealworms, yellow millet, kibbled peanuts and black sunflower seeds)
- A handful of dried cranberries or other dried fruit (optional – remember that some dried fruit can be poisonous for dogs).
You’ll also need a saucepan, a spoon for mixing, a lined baking tray and some Christmas shaped cookie cutters (plastic cutters work better for this).
- Melt the lard or suet in a saucepan over a low heat, but don’t let it boil
- When melted, carefully add the wild bird seed mix and stir it in, ensuring it all sticks together well
- When mixed, leave to one side for 10 minutes so it starts to set
- Whilst still soft, spoon into the lined baking tray. Ensure it’s evenly spread and at least 2cm deep throughout. Put the baking tray in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes
- Remove from the fridge and lift the mixture out of the baking tray on the greaseproof paper. You should have a fairly solid slab
- Use your cookie cutters to cut out your reindeer cookies (if you have any leftover bits you could crumble them up and put them out for the garden birds to enjoy)
- Leave them to cool, ideally in the fridge overnight
- Once set, they’re ready to be put outside for Rudolph! You can either leave them on a bird table, or perhaps hang them from a tree by tying some natural string around them.
RSPCA’s reindeer food trail mix recipe:
- A handful of wild bird seed (which may include sunflower hearts, naked rolled oats, dried mealworms, yellow millet, kibbled peanuts and black sunflower seeds) – this is what helps the reindeers fly!
- A few rolled oats
- Some dried fruit, like cranberries (if you have a dog, please don’t use grapes, raisins, sultanas or currants as these can be poisonous for dogs)
- Some dried insects – Rudolph and his bird friends love mealworms and waxworms
- Some grated cheese
- A hint of chilli powder – it helps keep Rudolph’s nose glowing red! Don’t worry, birds can’t taste it but it will stop squirrels and rodents from stealing the food before Rudolph arrives..
Mix it all together, then sprinkle it on your lawn, put on a bird table or leave it in a bowl by your front door just before you go to bed.
Thank you so much to Ginny Reid from the RSPCA for this wonderfully helpful guest post.
If you would like to subscribe to our Elf Club, and receive our newsletters, special offers, free Guides and discount codes, I’d love to see you there!
To receive our Magical Newsletter
Two FREE Guides in the newsletter:
Family Advent Activities & Ways to Make Christmas Eve More Magical!
The International Elf Service specialises in beautiful handcrafted, personalised letters from magical places … the North Pole and Fairyland. Designed to encourage children to read, while developing and preserving their love of all things magical.
‘Very Helpful’ Fairy & Tooth Fairy Letters
Try our amazingly unique and magical Family Christmas Tradition of Christmas Letter Bundles from the North Pole. Elf letters filled with secrets and snippets from the North Pole, for you to deliver very mysteriously on the Elves behalf … for your children to find.
Elfie’s Christmas Letters – Video is the Christmas 2019 Edition
*You don’t need an Elf or a Fairy Door to enjoy these letters. Pop magical letter by their toothbrush, in their shoes, stashed away with the rest of the mail – have fun!
A sneaky listen to our Advent Calendar Christmas letter bundle from Christmas 2018 … *The Christmas Letter Bundles Are Brand New Each Year!
Hide them among the bills and junk mail, lay them on the table first thing in the morning, stashed among the toys, or snuggled up in their bed. You choose where your children find the letters, to create a magical family tradition the kids will love!
“The best Christmas idea ever.” – Charlie Condou (Actor)
“These were the best things I have ever (and I mean ever) ordered!!
I’ve never seen the magic or happiness last so long x”
– Jolene (August 2017)