Do-it-yourself food gift ideas

Luella Morehouse

By Luella Morehouse | Stutsman County Extension

During the sometimes hectic holiday season, be sure to have fun in the process of making memories. Invite kids in the kitchen to help with food preparation (and cleanup), and spend some time in indoor or outdoor play. If you give gifts, be aware of inexpensive, thoughtful food gifts you can make at home.

Expand Your Gift Dollars

You can expand your gift dollars by making some food mixes that you layer in glass Mason jars or other containers. You can decorate with your favorite fabric and ribbons if you’d like. The person who receives the gift just adds a few more ingredients to complete the recipe and prepare at home.


Check out the following publications from NDSU Extension:

“Mix It Up” (FN1494) is available at It features Country Chili, Homemade Cornbread, Cranberry-Oatmeal Cookie and Friendship Soup mixes.

“Give the Gift of Joy with a Quick Bread Mix” (FN1888) is available at It features Quick Herb Bread, Snickerdoodle Muffins, Cherry-Chocolate Scones and Peanut Butter Bread.

“Beverage Mixes in a Jar” (FN1625) is available at It features Double Chocolate Peppermint Candy Hot Cocoa, Spiced Tea and French Vanilla Coffee mixes.

Question: Do you have any suggestions on how to alleviate the holiday stress, which I tend to gain a couple of pounds and overspending on my budget?

  • Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise three to five times per week, but preferably daily, because it reduces and prevents stress and promotes well-being.

  • Drink a glass of water before grabbing a snack. If the holiday foods are tempting, have ready-to-eat foods such as cut-up vegetables, Greek yogurt, low-fat string cheese and whole-grain crackers available for a pick-me-up instead of cookies or candy.

  • Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night to keep yourself in balance. Sometimes people who think they are hungry really are tired.

  • Keep your finances in check because worrying about money problems can cause issues with sleep, appetite, etc. If you overspent your budget, consider returning some of the items. Try making some of your gifts or offer gifts of your time.

  • Try learning some relaxation techniques and make time for fun.

Article used with permission from Julie Garden-Robinson, food and nutrition specialist, NDSU Extension, The Family Table newsletter, Issue 12 and NOURISH newsletter, Issue 11. For more information, contact the Stutsman County Extension office at 252-9030 or email .

Related Topics: FAMILY
What To Read Next
This week Sarah Nasello modifies a summer favorite into a warm and comforting winter meal.
Casey is the well-behaved dog that normally stays out of the limelight.
Gardening columnist Don Kinzler explains why a potted sweet potato plant is struggling, why some apples are still on trees and how to choose tomato seeds.
Gardening columnist Don Kinzler addresses whether or not plants will recover from a rough winter and ways gardeners can help them along.