NDSU Extension Service - Burleigh County


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Holiday Food Gifts

When the holiday season rolls around, many struggle to find the perfect gift. To help reduce stress this holiday season, try making gifts instead of purchasing them. Consider these fast, fun and festive ideas:

Food Mix in Jar

Homemade Mixes in a Jar 

Mixes for soups and cookies are popular gift items that are fairly inexpensive to make. The gift recipient will appreciate the attractive and thoughtful gift and also will value the convenience.

Create a Themed Gift Basket

"Night-In Basket" - For the family member who loves movies. Get a large bowl for popcorn to use as the container. Add packaged popcorn, seasoning, four plastic bowls, chocolate munchies and a coupon for a free movie rental. 

"Breakfast Basket" - For the breakfast lovers in the family.  Include pancake mix, maple syrup, homemade granola, a homemade (or purchased) fruit spread, coffee and holiday mugs.

Homemade Jams or Jellies are a wonderful treat.  For guidelines on how to make safe and delicious spreads, and several great recipes, click here.

"Healthy Holiday Basket" - For the health conscious family members.  Fill a basket with fresh, seasonal fruits like apples, oranges and pears.  Add some heart healthy nuts, dried fruit, low-fat spreadable cheese and whole-grain crackers.  Also include a wellness-themed book or a health-focused recipe book.  

"Pasta Basket" - Everyone loves a night in with a warm bowl of pasta.  Get a stainless steel colander to use as the container.  Include a variety of shaped pastas (spaghetti, angel hair, penne or elbow).  Add a couple of good pasta sauces (red and/or white), a loaf of French bread (or a bread mix), and a bottle of red wine.

Create a Recipe Booklet

Copy your favorite holiday recipes onto festive recipe cards, punch a hole in the corner of the cards and tie them together with a red ribbon. Holiday photo albums also can be used to hold recipes. Include a short family memory with each recipe or the story about the person who created the recipe.

Holiday Mugs

Fill a holiday mug with packets of flavored tea, hot cocoa or coffee for those who enjoy warm beverages. 

Soup Mixes

Tie a packet of soup mix to a large wooden spoon. Include a bowl and package of biscuit mix for a complete gift.

Holiday Baking

Repurpose old tins, filling them with cookies, muffins, chocolate covered pretzels or other holiday goodies. A gift like this will be a delight to anybody who has little time for baking.


Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, PhD, Food & Nutrition Specialist

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