Carrots are not part of a Reindeers natural diet and they could even struggle to digest them, an expert has revealed ahead of Christmas.
The mythical animals only have a bottom row of teeth and, contrary to popular believe, are unable to eat carrots.
Brits will leave out some 3,063 tonnes of carrots this year as Santa makes his rounds across the country, but a campaign has been launched to encourage us to leave out more reindeer friendly ingredients.
‘Reindeer Whisperer’ Phil Endsor, says; “For years, children around the world have been leaving carrots out for Santa’s reindeer believing it’s their favourite treat, but this is a huge misconception.
“Carrots aren’t part of their natural diet and reindeer struggle to digest carrots because they don’t have any incisor teeth on their upper jaw – we’ve never seen any of the reindeers we look after eat one.”
Oats, apples and even parsnips made it into the top 10 yuletide snacks likely to be brought back to the sleigh for Dasher, Dancer and the rest of Santa’s reindeer to munch on.
Though four in five Brits are staunchly traditional, leaving a juicy carrot out for Santa’s hard-working sleigh team.
More unconventionally, one in 10 think Rudolph would enjoy a saucer of beer to keep the chill of Christmas Eve at bay, and others think advent calendar chocolates are an appropriate reindeer treat.
Compared to the more unusual nibbles waiting for Rudolph, Santa has some more predictable snacks in store.
A mince pie and a glass of milk are most likely to greet Father Christmas on the side table next to the Christmas tree, chased with a nip of whisky, brandy or beer, the study conducted by OnePoll found.
To give back to Santa’s hard-working fleet, Sainsbury’s Pet Nutrition Team worked closely with reindeer expert Phil Endsor to create a perfect blend of energising, reindeer friendly ingredients that will aid these magical creatures as they undertake their mammoth annual task.
The recipe includes rolled oats and dried fruits, with hints of cinnamon and maple syrup.
The blend even includes a sprinkle of chilli powder to ensure that Rudolph’s nose is strongly lit throughout the journey.
Matt Turner, Animal Nutrition Expert at Sainsbury’s, said: “We think our new blend of slow releasing energy ingredients and nourishing vegetables are perfect for Santa’s Reindeer, who are instrumental in ensuring the magic of Christmas is delivered to the ones we love this year.
“Be sure to keep them away from hungry pets – these are strictly Reindeer treats with special ingredients to help them fly!
“And not forgetting Santa Claus – of course we have the perfect treat for him with our melt in the mouth Taste the Difference All Butter Mince Pies.”