Easy, animal-friendly reindeer food recipes to make at home

One of the kids’ favourite festive activities is to go out and feed Santa’s furry helpers.

Reindeer are hard at work this season and need their strength more than ever.

So, we’ve found some easy, at-home recipes for reindeer food mix that families can throw together before their park outing.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) have shared two of their most popular and safe recipes for the roaming deer.

Reindeer Food 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.

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).


  1. Ask a grown-up to melt the lard or suet in a saucepan over a low heat, but don’t let it boil

  2. When melted, you can add in the wild bird seed mix (carefully, it’s hot!) and stir it in, ensuring it all sticks together well

  3. When mixed, leave to one side for 10 minutes so it starts to set

  4. 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

  5. Remove from the fridge and lift the mixture out of the baking tray on the greaseproof paper. You should have a fairly solid slab

  6. 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)

  7. Leave them to cool, ideally in the fridge overnight

  8. 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.

Father Christmas’s reindeer will love these tasty cookies – and so will their friends, the garden birds.

Do you have any animal-friendly, reindeer recipes? Please share them with us.




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