Edible treats make great stocking stuffers; just make sure they’re not stuffed with toxins. Follow these basic tricks to find non-toxic (and inexpensive!) alternatives:
1) Look for less packaging: Those giant, food filled holiday baskets are home to loads of plastic. And unfortunately, even for small stocking stuffers like candy canes, tis the season for individually plastic wrapped treats. Avoid plastic as much as you can by taking a closer look at what you buy, or opting to package bulk items yourself in recycled glass jars, recycled paper, clean recycled cloth (think old t-shirts, dish towels, etc.) or leftover wrapping paper scraps.
2) Read the label: When possible, stay away from goodies with lengthy ingredient lists, artificial food coloring, and preservatives.
3) Make your own: Here are a few easy DIY ideas for making your own yummy stocking stuffers:
- Dip it in chocolate: You can make incredibly pretty and delicious holiday treats by using these two rules: dip it in chocolate, cover it in something yummy. Buy treats in bulk (pretzels, dried fruit, etc.) or make your own, stock up on chocolate chips, and find a yummy extra (crushed hard candies, dried coconut, sprinkles etc.) When you’re buying treats, go organic if you can. If you can’t, that’s fine too: Do what makes sense for your budget, read the labels, and try to choose treats that are less processed with shorter ingredient lists. Melt chocolate over low heat or even in the microwave. Dip treats in the chocolate, then roll them in your yummy extra, then refrigerate them on a baking sheet.
- Sugared cranberries: These are easy, inexpensive, and deeply festive. Jordan Reid from Ramshackle Glam has this three ingredient guide to whipping up a batch of sugared cranberries to add to use as a stocking stuffer, party favor, or even as a part of your holiday decor.
- DIY mixes: You know those beautiful layered mixes in big glass jars that show up on store shelves this time of year? Skip them. These are incredibly easy to make at home for a fraction of the cost. Buy a glass jar (or use one you already have, or one headed to the recycling bin). Inside the jar, layer dry ingredients for your favorite baked goods recipe. There are only two rules here: Use a recipe where all of the dry ingredients in the jar can be combined (if the cocoa powder for your brownies needs to be beaten into the eggs and then added to the flour and co., choose something else). And try to find a recipe with minimal added ingredients. This should be store-bought mix simple: throw in a few eggs or some butter, and you’re done. Jazz up your mix (and make it more visually appealing) by adding chocolate chips, dried fruits, shredded coconut, etc. And don’t forget to attach instructions; you can even include the full recipe so they can make a batch later, after they’re done with your handy mix