What do the reindeer eat?

Dear Ernest,

What do the reindeer eat?

Portales, NM USA

I decided to talk to Elf Victor, Santa’s head of reindeer operations, about that question. I know that I leave out carrots for them on Christmas Eve. But I started to wonder if that was the right thing to do.

“Oh, it is definitely the right thing to do,” Elf Victor said. “Carrots are like candy to a reindeer. And they are good for them too. Reindeer usually eat a mixture of grains — oats and barley, that kind of thing. We feed them veggies, too and, of course, they graze on wild grasses, berries, and sage. Reindeer are naturally very healthy eaters.”

Elf Victor said that some people think they have to go out and buy special food for the reindeer on Christmas Eve. This is not true. Usually he said that if you can find some carrots or celery in your refrigerator that would be more appreciated than anything bought at a store. Never feed chocolate to reindeer. It upsets their tummies.

Have a question? Ask an elf!

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