Homemade gifts are personal, thoughtful, and can be inexpensive. You will save money and time by giving a homemade gift. Gift Jars allow you to make multiple presents at one time for anyone on your list. Include your children in the activity makes holiday memories that can last a lifetime. This activity will give everyone a break from the TV or phone screens. Turn on some holiday music, take some deep breaths, and dive into this artistic adventure!
Being creative can serve as a small self-care activity that reduces stress and gives you a feel-good vibe. Use the chart below to create gift jars that are focused on an individual’s favorite food item or make use of items that you already have in your pantry. The chart has ideas for food gifts that you can make ahead of time and share in a decorated container. The second column has ideas for layering two or more dry ingredients and includes a recipe for a thoughtful and creative present. These caring gift ideas are like sharing a big hug from your very own kitchen!
|Pre-Made Gift Jars||Pairs Well With:||Some Assembly Required:||Pairs Well With:|
|Bread Loaves||Jams & Jellies||Cappuccino Mix||Mug|
|Biscotti||Coffee & Cocoa||Hot Cocoa Mix||Mug|
|Granola||Chai Tea Mix||Mug|
|Jams & Jellies||Biscuits||Muffin Mix||Muffin Liners|
|Coffee Mug Mixer Spoons||Mug||Pancake and Waffle Mixes||Whisks|
|Applesauce||Oatmeal/Bulgar Jars*||Dried Fruit|
|Whole Wheat Seeded Crackers*||Cheese Spreads||Apple Crisp Mix||Eggnog|
|Cereal Snack Mix||S’mores in a Jar|
|Spicy Cocktail Pecans|
|Coconut Roasted Almonds|
|Hummus*||Pita Chips||Seasoning Mixes||Popcorn|
|Marinated Olives||Cheese Wedge||Spice Blends||Olive oil &Whole Wheat Breads|
|Infused Olive Oils||Whole Wheat Bread||Lemon Infused Honey||Tea|
|Salsa*||Tortilla Chips||Homemade Vanilla Kit|
|Marinara Sauce||Bowtie Pasta||Pumpkin Spice Syrup||Coffee|
|Chili & Cornbread Parfait w/sour cream and chive toppings||Beans & Rice Fajita Casserole Kit||Ladle Spoon|
|Taco Salad Jar*||Tortilla Chips||Hearty Lentil or Pasta Soup Mix*||Ladle Spoon|
|Ramen Noodle Jar*||Three Bean Chili Mix||Ladle Spoon|
Gift Jar Preparation
Jars can be purchased at department, hardware, or grocery stores. Canning jars are also known as Mason jars. They come in various sizes (8 ounces to 64 ounces) that range in price. Simply add a tag with the recipe or the food item name using some ribbon and top it with a decorative bow. These gifts are perfect for anyone you’d like to appreciate this holiday season: family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, teachers, bus drivers, coaches, or mail and package delivery drivers. They can even be used as hostess gifts when attending holiday gatherings.
Tags could say “From the Kitchen of…”, “Made Just For You by…”, “Have a Sweet Holiday”, or “Whisking you Holiday Joy.” You could include a “made-on-this-date” note or any allergy warnings.
Festive Jobs for Your Little Elves
Include your children in the creative process or the baking experience. When you involve your child in the kitchen, you introduce them to new vocabulary, help them figure out how things work, increase their life skills, develop new motor skills, and create precious bonding time and memories. Children who are included in the preparation of food are also more apt to try new foods. Some simple activities could be: assisting in the kitchen with measuring, mixing, stirring, and layering the ingredients, washing jars and lids, adding bows or stickers to the jar tops, tying the ribbon on the final product, designing the tag, and writing out the recipe or gift tag.
Small Jar Seasoning and Spice Gifts
Say “Seasons Greetings” with these seasoning mixes you can make on your own, link here-
https://extension.umass.edu/nutrition/recipes/make-your-own-seasoning-blends. You will find recipes for an array of flavors from Italian to Soul Food mixes. Other Festive mix ideas include Cajun, Chili, Jerk, Mediterranean, and Smoked BBQ Rub. Spices have compounds in them that provide many types of health benefits. These include lowering blood sugar levels, and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Check out this Holiday Pumpkin Pie Mix. It can be used in a variety of recipes including spiced nuts, muffins, and pancakes and you can even add a dash to your morning cup of java!
Holiday Pumpkin Pie Mix:
- 4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together
- Store in a small mason jar in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Spending time with children and making unique gift jars is an easy activity to enjoy this holiday season. Together you make memories and special gifts for those you love. The holiday season does not have to be hectic or stressful. Hopefully, these ideas bring you joy and warm tidings! Happy Holidays from Broc!
Books to Extend Children’s Learning
Fiction- Feast for 10, by Cathryn Falwell, 2003, Ages 0-3 years
Recipe Book-Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook: Healthy Kid-Friendly Recipes to Cook Together, by Heather Wish Staller, 2019, Ages 1-4 years
Fiction-Little Chef, by Matt Stine and Elizabeth Weinberg, 2018, Ages 2-6 years
Fiction-Look, I’m a Cook, by DK (48 pages), 2017, Ages 3-7 years
Recipe Book-My First Cookbook, by American Test Kitchen, 2020, Ages 5-8 years
Recipe Book–Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: Making, Baking, and Giving, by Jessica Strand and Tammy Massman, 2008, Ages 13+