Magical Reindeer Food

By Ann Fulton

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Years ago, when the kids and I still peered towards the moon in hopes of catching a glimpse of Rudolph leading Santa’s sleigh as we drove away from church on Christmas Eve, my friend, Marilu, gave us a bag of magical food.

This sparkly mixture was not meant for human consumption, however.  It was a special treat for the kids to leave for the reindeer after the milk and cookies had been put out for Santa.

Attached to the bag was a clever poem instructing children to sprinkle this glistening oat mixture outside as a beacon to guide the reindeer:

Sprinkle this reindeer food outside tonight
The moonlight will make it sparkle bright
As the reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home

Chances are, you have the simple ingredients needed to mix up a batch of reindeer food for the special believers you know.  Kids may even enjoy mixing it themselves and giving as gifts to their friends.

To make this “food” safe for birds and small children, stick with colored or glittery sprinkles instead of true glitter.

I’m not sure if this is where my friend originally got the idea but, for added ease, I discovered an online template.  If you go to and search “reindeer food tags”, you can print out a tag with the poem just like pictured here.


Ho, ho, ho! 🎅🏻



Magical Reindeer Food
Make these as a fun activity with your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews. This magical food is perfect for kids to give to their friends or to use themselves on Christmas Eve.
  • Raw uncooked oats
  • Sugar cookie sprinkles
  • Plastic sandwich or snack baggies
  • Ribbon in festive holiday colors
  • Paper for the printable tags
  1. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of oats into each plastic bag.
  2. Add a tablespoon or two of sprinkles.
  3. Iridescent sprinkles or red and green sprinkles are good choices; but use what you have on hand. (You can even use the fine sanding sugar used for sand tarts. Just beware: If you mix red and green sugar, the resulting color will be a less festive shade of brown.)
  4. Close the baggie with a piece of ribbon, and shake to mix.
  5. If using a zipper top bag, punch a small hole in the corner and thread a piece of ribbon through the hole.
  6. Make a tag by writing or printing the poem (printed below) onto a piece of paper or card stock. Add the tag to the bag for a fun gift for children to give their friends to use on Christmas Eve—or save and use themselves!
  7. After you put out the milk and cookies for Santa, head outside to sprinkle this magic reindeer food on the snow or your lawn.
Poem to write or print on card
  • Sprinkle this reindeer food outside tonight
  • The moonlight will make it sparkle bright
  • As the reindeer fly and roam
  • This will guide them to your home
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The Fountain Avenue Kitchen

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    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Madeline. There are many varieties of edible sprinkles that look like glitter and provide an alternative, but you could absolutely omit.

  1. Leighton Rabon

    Such a special touch for children of all ages to do it on Christmas Eve night. The reindeer love it! Merry Christmas

  2. Gerri Jacob

    I really like this. I had reindeer poop – brown M&M’s. Also coal footprints and coal for a naughty Santa gift. Charcoal on bottom of boots equal Santa’s boot print on white art paper and in stocking. Desire more things to make Christmas fun for the oldies like us-87 and 81 and married 63 wonderful years.

    1. Ann Post author

      I love your comment, Gerri – especially the part about wanting to make Christmas fun after being married 63 wonderful years. Clearly you are doing something (most things!) right. Your suggestions are great, and I have a few other tricks up my sleeve. Some of them can be found if you scroll back through the holiday category of my blog. Here’s a link: Thank you for your comment!