cookies and dessert mix jars for gifting

Easy Homemade Food Gifts Kids Can Make

Christmas gifts from the kitchen.
By Mackenzie Schieck
October 21, 2020

Let Santa's littlest helpers get in the spirit of giving - and make holiday memories - with these simple homemade food gifts. Each idea is perfect for smaller hands to assist with, and grown-ups will love these kid-approved treats, too. In addition to recipes, we're sharing tips for presentation and packing that make homemade food gifts look as delicious as they taste!

Easy Tips for Packaging Food Gifts

Wrapping food gifts can be half the fun for little ones, so choose items that will be easy for them to help with. You can find a great selection of bags and pouches online, ranging from cellophane to muslin, as well as different sized boxes, ribbon, gift tags, tissue paper, and tape with fun holiday designs.

Boxes or bags?

If your food gifts are in for a long journey, choose sturdy boxes over flimsy bags. Also, if you want gift recipients to be able to see the gift without opening it, choose cellophane bags or boxes with a clear window. If you want your gift to be a surprise, go for cloth bags or solid boxes.

Don't overfill the package.

Choose boxes or bags according to how many treats you plan to include in each gift. Don't over-stuff your package; leave enough room to showcase the presentation.

Keep treats fresh.

If you're not using cellophane bags, be sure to wrap any items that could get dried out in plastic wrap - or store in resealable zip-top bags. You can give plastic bags a festive feel by wrapping them in brown parchment paper and tying with a bow, or by tucking the sealed bag in holiday boxes.

Easy Homemade Food Gift Ideas

You'll find a lot to choose from in this list of homemade food gifts that kids can help make. Simple hot cocoa kits or cookie mix in a jar are great for really young "cooks," while marshmallows, baked cookies, and simple chocolate bark will be perfect for kid cooks with a little more - ahem - culinary experience under their belt. You'll find helpful tips for making and packaging each treat below.

And remember to have fun - the gifts may not all come out picture-perfect, but the recipients will love the time and love that was poured into them!

Cookies (or Brownies) in a Jar

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This food gift is great for very young children to help with as it's quick and easy, and no actual cooking is involved.

Get big enough jars.

Use airtight containers like 32 oz. mason jars, and add up the ingredients in the recipe to be sure they will hold everything before starting.

Put fine ingredients on the bottom. 

Make sure ingredients like flour and sugar are at the bottom of your jar, and coarse ingredients like nuts and chocolate chips are at the top. (If you put the flour at the top, it will fall through spaces between coarse ingredients and you'll lose the layered look you're after.)

Write recipe directions on a card.

Gift recipients will still have to add ingredients like butter and eggs, and they'll need to know how long to bake the cookies and at what temperature - so include a recipe card with directions on it with your gift.

More top-rated recipes to try:

Homemade Cookies

Holiday cookies are always a crowd-pleaser, and one batch can be enough for a handful of gifts. Here are some recipes that are simple enough for kids to help make:

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Use royal icing to decorate cookies; it dries to a hard, non-smearing finish so your batch will arrive looking its best.

Reindeer Cookies

Reindeer Cookies

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"These reindeer cookies are really adorable! Children enjoy making and eating them. Add a red M&M to make Rudolph." - JMEVNO

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Little ones can help pour ingredients, stir, and form cookies, feeling proud that they had a hand in making these delicious treats from start to finish!

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Gingerbread Men

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Decorate these cookies like traditional gingerbread men or get creative like footballgrl16 and turn them upside down to decorate as reindeer. 

Marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows are another great food gift kids can make. They are surprisingly easy and really fun to decorate in a variety of ways.

One basic marshmallow recipe below has so many possibilities. Dust them in powdered sugar like usual, try granulated sugar for a bit more sparkle, or toss in cocoa powder for a lot more chocolate!

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Marshmallow Packaging Ideas

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You can also dip your marshmallows in chocolate before adding crushed candy cane. Or use simple cookie cutters to make festive shapes.

Chocolate Bark

These recipes are easy to double or triple to make large batches for multiple gifts (just be sure you have enough pans!). And the broken pieces look beautiful packaged up in cellophane bags. Try one of the top-rated recipes below.

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Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

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This classic recipe has layers of both semisweet and white chocolate topped with crushed candy cane and is always a winner. 

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The Best White Chocolate Almond Bark

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Toast whole almonds first, then pair with almond extract for double the almond deliciousness.

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Cranberry Macadamia Bark

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White chocolate fans will love this bark, which is packed with macadamia nuts and dried cranberries. 

Hot Chocolate Kits

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Gift 32 oz. mason jars of hot chocolate mix with this recipe, or create boxed kits with marshmallows, caramels, candy canes, and even a set of mugs