Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tips for Making Christmas Food Gifts

When it comes right down to it, some of the best gifts given at Christmas are given from the heart. What says that you took time and care more than a homemade food gift?

Now, if you want to make food gifts, there are a few tips you need to remember. For safety reasons and liability issues, food gifts not accepted at schools. You can give a gift to your child’s teacher but not to the students.

Safety First

Most food gifts are either dry mixes or desserts that you’ve made. It is rare that people give things like meats but if you do, be sure that the meat was thawed or defrosted at proper temperatures. When you cook it, use a thermometer to tell if it is within temperature limits to be considered done.  Let the meat cool enough before covering it so that there is no condensation on the plastic wrap, aluminum foil or container top.

With all Christmas food gifts, be sure that everything is cooled and as dry as possible before wrapping it up in decorative packaging. You want the recipient to enjoy the food and not end up in the emergency room. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at some popular Christmas food gifts.

Soups On, or is it Cookies?

Decorative mixes are still a big hit at holiday time. From soups to cookies, the gift receiver can decide when they will use their gift. Already prepared food gifts usually have a time limit.

If the person loves soup, give them a gift basket filled with delicious dry soup mixes that you prepared yourself. Since it is winter, no soup gift basket would be complete without chicken noodle. Include some of their favorites like potato soup, vegetable soup or bean soup.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in layers in the jar. You can use freeze-dried vegetables. 

Remember to make a label that includes:

  • Name of the soup
  • Recipe ingredients in jar
  • Ingredients still needing to be added
  • Serving size
Cookie recipes work well in the jar too. Properly measure out all of the dry ingredients in layers. Be sure that the jar is dry before adding anything so it doesn’t spoil. Use the same guidelines as the bulleted list above for soups when creating your cookie label.


These types of gifts can be used all year round. They include items like flavored vinegars, homemade seasoning mixes and dry rubs. If you like to grow herbs, then a holiday gift of dried herbs is perfect for the cook on your list. Also popular are canned preserves, vegetables and fruits. After the canning process they can keep for as long as you need in the vacuum-sealed jar.

What are you planning to give to others this Christmas? If it is a food gift, use the tips above for gift ideas and also ways to keep it safe to enjoy.

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