Healthier Treats for Santa and His Reindeer

Nov 16, 2021 | Seasonal

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Since his belly is known to jiggle like a bowl full of jelly, Santa might appreciate a healthy option when he stops by your house this Christmas Eve. Kids will enjoy our lower sugar — but still amazing — cookie recipe too.

We didn’t forget Rudolph and the other reindeer with our oat-heavy treat that might also make an appearance on the breakfast table for your little elves. What’s good for the reindeer is good for the kids!

When you’re planning holiday snacks for little ones, Carmen Alexis Miller, MS, RDN, LDN, outpatient dietitian at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, shares some advice.

The best snacks for kids include protein and fat to signal their bellies, “I’m satisfied, and I’ve had enough.” It’s also a great idea to link a snack with a little physical movement. 

“Create an environment that gets them up, playing and moving,” Miller says. “Don’t allow them to just stare at a phone while they eat. They won’t pay attention to their food and their fullness.”

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie for Santa

Adapted from The Macro Experiment

1/3 cup flour (coconut or wheat)

3/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup mini chocolate chip cookies

2 eggs (or 3 egg whites)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Stevia, sugar or other sweetener to taste

  1. Melt butter. Add vanilla extract, vanilla whey, flour and baking powder. Stir.
  2. Add sweetener to taste, applesauce, eggs or egg white, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Pour mixture into six small oven-safe ramekins (or one 8×8 pan or equivalent)
  4. Bake 10-20 minutes at 350 degrees, checking with a toothpick. Cookie is done when it’s slightly gooey in the middle but completely baked around the outside.

Festive Reindeer Food Snack

Adapted from Super Healthy Kids

6 cups of dry oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Optional Mix-ins:

1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup seedless raisins

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup coconut flakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350, and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Mix oats and brown sugar
  3. Separately, combine oil, honey and vanilla
  4. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and thoroughly combine. Add in any desired nut or seed mix-ins
  5. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every five minutes until it’s golden brown.
  6. Let cool and break up into large pieces
  7. Stir in dried fruit and coconut mix-ins if using

Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks. 

Sprinkle on the lawn before bed on Christmas Eve (it’s great for reindeer but safe for other animals who might come along to sample it). 

Serve with yogurt or milk for a healthy human breakfast on Christmas morning or any morning.

Looking for other seasonal health tips for your family? A pediatrician with Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health network can help. Find a pediatrician today.

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