The Best Reindeer Food


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Santa’s reindeer get hungry on their long journey around the world on Christmas Eve. Make some reindeer food to keep them happy while Santa is at your house.

Pin Reindeer Food to make later.

Reindeer food for Santa's reindeer.

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One of my family’s most favorite memories is making reindeer food for Santa’s crew and sprinkling it in the grass on Christmas Eve.

Sure we got some funny looks from the neighbors but once we explained that we were leaving food for hungry reindeer, they completely understood.

And then asked if they could have some for their yards too!

Ingredients for Reindeer Food

  • Oats (A reindeer favorite, I’m told)
  • Sugar (Gives them energy to fly around the world)
  • Sparkling Sugar (Glistens in the moonlight so they can see their food)
  • Assorted Christmas Sprinkles (Reindeer like festive treats too)

What is sparkling sugar and why use both? Sparkling sugar is just coarse sugar that’s used for decorating cookies. It lends a beautiful sparkle to cookies and this reindeer food.

You can find it in the cake decorating section of a craft store, such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn’s, or buy it on Amazon.

But, if you don’t have any, or are pressed for time to get this made, just use all granulated sugar. 

Please, whatever you do, don’t use glitter! It’s awful for the envrionment and more importantly, reindeer can’t digest it. This is an all-natural, glitter-free treat for Santa’s reindeer team.

Reindeer food is only a few ingredients.

For the last few years I would make up a few batches of our famous reindeer food and wrap it up for favors for our holiday open house guests to take home. Little ones always loved getting something for the reindeer.

I love adding this homemade tag so people know it’s specifically for the reindeer. Everything in the mixture is edible but uncooked oats aren’t all that tasty to people, though I hear reindeer love them!

Reindeer Food Twitter image

Once you sprinkle the food, head inside and treat yourself to some hot chocolate. It’s a great way to warm up and get cozy before bed. Especially on a chilly Christmas Eve.

If you plan to wrap it up, use this cute printable to make it into gifts. You can find it in my etsy shop. Don’t worry it will print without the watermark.

It’s just a nice added touch when sharing with freinds and neighbors. Print it on cardstock and tie to a bag or print it on a large label page and adhere to the gift. All you need to do is cut them to size!

Santa Approve Reindeer Food Graphic

I had a friend tell me that she loved this particular mix because there is no glitter in it. Sparkling sugar glistens in the moonlight and Rudolph’s nose so the reindeer can see it to nibble while Santa is working.

The reindeer get tired of carrots and this is a delightful change for them.

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Reindeer Food

Santa's reindeer get hungry on their long journey.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Pantry Staples
Cuisine: American


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon white sparkling sugar
  • Assorted Christmas sprinkles


  • In a small bowl, mix all ingredients. Divide among cellophane bags and attach printable tag.
  • On Christmas Eve, sprinkle Reindeer Food on lawn for Santa’s reindeer to enjoy.

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  1. This is such a fun tradition! Thanks for the printable tags.

    Our kids used to leave carrots out for the reindeer on the same plate with the cookies for Santa. They were always delighted to find half nibbled carrots and a half eaten cookie on Christmas morning.

  2. I love this idea! I wish I would have thought of this when my kids were little. We used to stand on our deck after the kids went to bed and chomp on carrots and spit them out all over the place. What makes that even funnier is that it gets very cold here so we froze our butts off. I’m sure the neighbor’s thought we were a little kookie too. Your idea is much more interactive to do WITH the kids instead of FOR them.

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