Later tonight Mrs. Claus will be in North Pole Chat to discuss two things – cookies for Santa and what to feed the reindeer on Christmas Eve.
I can tell you that most people always remember the cookies for Santa. But reindeer food is nearly always forgotten about until the last minute. Of course, everyone wants to remember the reindeer but when it comes to feeding them you need to be a bit more careful. It is more about what NOT to give them than anything else.
Reindeer are athletes. Flying Santa around the world is an athletic event. They require special food to remain active and to not get sick. Reindeer have delicate digestive systems — tummies that are upset easily by eating the wrong kinds of things — so you want to be mindful of what you leave out for them.
Believe it or not, the most simple and desired food that reindeer want is water. Water is so important for them and they really appreciate being able to drink water while Santa is in the house.
Many times, Santa has to go get them water when he is at a house. So when you leave out water for the reindeer you are not only helping the reindeer you are also helping Santa.
Some people, trying to be helpful, like to leave out sweet things for the reindeer like extra cookies or especially candy canes. After all, it is Christmas and the reindeer deserve a treat too, right?
Well, sweets like that are not treats for reindeer. Those things will upset their tummies. If you want to give the reindeer anything, think of these kinds of things as treats for reindeer:
- Cheerios or other unsweetened cereal that contains either wheat or oats
- Bananas (they LOVE them)
- Popcorn (unsalted)
- Rolled oats
- Strawberries (or any kind of available berries)
- Almonds or walnuts (unshelled)
- Sunflower seeds
Please do not use any of the common recipes for mixes you see on the Internet. Adding sprinkles or other forms of processed sugar is NOT good for reindeer and it upsets their tummies.
While some vegetables are good and even appreciated, please avoid onions of any kind and radishes.
One of the vegetables they get a lot in Mexico that they really love is Jicama. Some people do not know what that is because they have never had it. But reindeer love it and it is to provide it for them, you just cut it up into bite sized cubes. They love to eat them because the water content in Jicama is very high. It is a real treat for reindeer.
Mrs. Claus has other ideas to share with you during her chat tonight. If she has any recipes, we will be sure to post them.
ps – A special note to Ms. Kissinger’s class at Fairview Jewell Elementary. If you will send me a list of your TWO favorite reindeer I will tell you what those two reindeer like to eat and maybe a story or two about them. Ms. Kissinger can upload your answer via our Teacher page.