Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home.
Poor little hungry critters, working so hard all night long! Santa gets trays and trays of cookies and countless glasses of milk (hope he’s not gluten sensitive or lactose intolerant), and the reindeer get nothing. Well, maybe some child of a nutritionist sets out a couple of carrots. So I came across this years ago, thought it was adorable, and spent every Christmas since in the school classrooms with each of my three children, making reindeer food. We started out using glitter for sparkle, as some recipes suggested, but realized it wasn’t good for creatures big and small that might come across this on the lawn.
So I would like to share our personal family recipe for Magical Reindeer Food. I hope that it becomes a part of your tradition with your little ones. Let me know if you come up with any ingredient variations that we can try next year! Each ingredient is followed by what we said it helped the reindeer to do. Being in the nutrition field, I felt compelled, of course, to discuss the benefits of fiber, which thrilled the boys in the class, but made the girls grossed out. Adjust as you see fit…
Magical Reindeer Food
- oats (fiber for the reindeer’s digestion)
- bird seed (minerals and essential fatty acids for strength and brain power in case Santa gets lost)
- mini-marshmallows (for soft landings on hard rooftops and frozen lawns)
- colored decorating sugars (for magical flying abilities)
- other random decorating sprinkles (assign various magical attributes according to your family’s traditions)
Run through the ingredients and what they accomplish with the children, whether in a classroom or your home. Then allow each child to spoon a set amount, such as one, two, or three spoonfuls, or 6 marshmallows, into a plastic baggie. You can figure they will be tasting some of the various ingredients (we seemed to have to replenish the marshmallows pretty often). I assigned amounts based on cost of ingredients, so the oats and birdseed got assigned three scoops or spoons. I found it easier to give each child a spoon, so there were no “unspooned” serving dishes and therefore no yelling.
Have the kids pop the poem and their spoon into the baggie with the magical mixture, and instruct them to scatter it on the lawn on Christmas eve. Sing Rudolph and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. I found it so nice to be able to contribute to the wide-eyed wonder and magic of one of the most beloved things for children at Christmas, the reindeer.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful magical Christmas,
May all your Christmas dreams come true…Cynthia