The shops are now full to the brim with glitter filled treats leading up to the big day. One of those things is a pouch of ‘reindeer food’ – a magical mixture you sprinkle on your garden before bed to entice Santa’s reindeer to stop at your house. Sometimes this is marketed as ‘edible glitter’ but sadly.. It’s something you should be avoiding sprinkling around your garden. Glitter isn’t something reindeer (or any of your gardens ecosystem..) should be ingesting.
What can be used as reindeer food?
A handful of wild bird seed works wonderfully for a friendly substitute for the shop bought reindeer food. Usually wild bird seed contains things like sunflower hearts, dried mealworms, rolled oats, crushed peanuts, black sunflower seeds and millet- obviously it depends on which you buy. All of these are wonderful for the birds in your garden, and they’ll give our little feathered friends a boost while it’s cold.
Rolled oats on their own can be used, and if you want to add a little colour then some dried fruit mixed in gives it a pretty pop. Cranberries are great for this!
⚠️ Do not use raisins, sultanas, currants or grapes if you have a dog in the family. These can be very poisonous to our favourite furry friends!
Mealworms are a staple of birds during the winter months and can be bought very cheaply – they might not be appealing to some little ones however due to their looks. I never used to like even picking up a pack of mealworms until I began to appreciate how much garden wildlife adored them!
To keep any opportunistic rodents away from your reindeer food add a small amount of chilli powder – only a hint, and it’ll keep the reindeers warm too!
How to make your own reindeer biscuits!
Using 500g of wild bird seed and 250g of lard, you can create your own reindeer biscuits – or Christmas decorations for outdoors! Simply melt the lard, then add the bird seed and mix until the seed is coated. Spread the mixture into a tray and leave it in the fridge for half an hour to set.
Then you can use biscuit cutters to make your desired shapes. Remember to create a little hole if you wish to hang your biscuits! These can be made all year round if you want to keep your garden wildlife fed with tasty treats.