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It’s Christmas Eve and you’ve just remembered you need to leave snacks for Santa Claus and his reindeer! In the U.S., we traditionally leave cookies and milk for Santa plus some carrots for the reindeer. But if there’s no time to bake, what can you and the kids set out for them that’s easy and inexpensive to make?

The good news is that Santa likes everything! Also, since he eats a little bit at every house, you don’t need to prep a multi-course dinner for his visit. Just a little snack will hold him over until his next delivery.

Protein is a Nice Boost for Santa’s Energy

As much as he loves cookies, Santa does appreciate savory treats, too. So, don’t worry if that’s all that you have on hand. Make up a small plate of crackers with cheese, lunch meat, and veggies or fruit that he can stack however he likes. No crackers? Pop some sandwich bread into the toaster and then use cookie cutters to cut the toast into small, festive shapes. You can also pre-assemble tiny peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or use wraps or tortillas to make pinwheels from tuna, chicken, or egg salad. Add a colorful garnish of red and green veggies and Santa will feel like a king!

Hydration Helps Keep Santa Alert

Milk and eggnog can be heavy for a busy traveler like Santa. If you live in the chilly North, warm him up with some hot coffee or tea in an insulated mug. If it’s a warm night, ice cold red drink is always refreshing. He also loves juice boxes and bottled water because he can take them to-go. Don’t forget to leave a bowl of water by the front door so the reindeer can have a drink, too!

Reindeer Snacks

Speaking of reindeer, they’re happy to munch on nearly anything, too, including a few leaves and  some grass from your lawn. But if there’s snow on the ground, they’ll enjoy any fruits or veggies you have on hand.

Ultimately, Santa and his team always appreciate a spirit of sharing and thankfulness. So, whether it’s homemade cookies made from the fanciest organic ingredients, or a plate of meatloaf and greens leftover from dinner, Santa’s cheeks will turn rosy red knowing he’s in the home of a family who cares and he’ll eat his fill before moving on to his next delivery.