Creative Ideas for Mishloach Manot (Purim Gift Baskets)
Traditionally, mishloach manot (the sending of food) are two food items, from different food groups, sent to at least two friends in celebration of Purim. Throughout the years, mishloach manot have developed into sometimes elaborate food packages to many friends and family in your community. (Learn more about mishloach manot.)
On the hunt for new creative ideas for mishloach manot? Here are a few ideas to get you started. And don't forget to personalize your mishloach manot, whether it's with a handwritten note or a homemade labels. This is a time to show friends and family some love!
Keep It Simple
Mishloach manot not need be elaborate or expensive. These combinations are easy, fun, and won't break the bank:
- Tea and scones
- Homemade cookies and a small carton of milk
- Beer and nuts (for an older crowd, of course)
- Mini cupcakes with a small carton of chocolate milk
- A bottle (or can!) of wine with a cheese pairing
Choose a Fun Theme
Picking a theme for your mishloach manot is an easy way to make your gift stand out from the bunch. Think about the following themes and food ideas:
- Imagine Israel: Give the gift of a bit of the Jewish State with mishloach manot that include falafel balls, hummus, and pita or pita chips (bonus points if you make your own!)
- Go Greek: Your recipient will be dreaming of blue skies and bluer waters when you gift a them michloach manot of marinated olives, tzatziki, and traditional kioupia (eggplant salad with pine nuts).
- Think Italian: Package up a homemade pizza or the ingredients for creating one, paired with a bottle of red wine. Love to bake? Add a homemade Tuscan biscotti or mustacchioni.
- Embrace Americana: You'll hit a grand slam when you gift a full meal straight from the ballpark: a hotdog in a bun, packets of both ketchup and mustard, and a cold can of Coca-Cola.
- Get spicy: Know someone who can't get enough of spicy foods? Make your mishloach manot hot, hot, hot with spiced nuts, a bottle of ghost pepper sauce, hot pickles, and other spicy snacks that packs a punch.
- Have a fiesta: Your mishloach manot will be the life of the party when you include chips, queso, salsa (like this homemade pineapple-mint salsa), and a miniature bottle of booze, like tequila or rum.
- Pick a color: Make monochrome mishloach manot by including only items of the same color. For red, consider Red Hots, strawberries, licorice, apples, etc.; for yellow, think Lemonheads, lemonade, pineapple, yellow cake, etc. Get creative!
Gift a Great Wake-Up Call
Speaking of fun themes: Some people like to deliver their mishloach manot first thing in the morning so that their package is waiting at the front door when their recipients awaken, so why not go the breakfast route? Consider the following early-morning pairings:
- Freshly squeezed orange juice and a banana chocolate chip muffin
- A cheese scone and your favorite tea
- A bagel (either homemade or from a beloved local spot) and a piece of fruit
- A bag of muesli with a cup of yogurt
- A miniature box of cereal and a small carton of milk
Involve the Whole Family
If you have young children, find ways to involve them in the preparation and delivery of your family's mishloach manot.
- Make mini cookies bouquets in the free plastic flowerpots available at your local greenhouse. Younger kids can decorate the outside of the flowerpots with stickers; older children will love helping you make flower-shaped cookies on sticks. Place the sticks in Styrofoam at the base of the flowerpot... then top off your creation by filling the rest of the pot with "soil" made from Mike and Ikes or a similiar candy.
- Ask your kids to pick a few friends or relatives to whom they want to send mishloach manot, then let them choose a candy or fruit and a cookie or muffin to include. They can decorate the basket or write a card to their friend.
Make Something That Freezes Well
Maybe you live in a community where everyone is exhanging mishloach manot at Purim, and you know it just gets to be a little bit too much. People always appreciate something delicious they can eat later, and giving the gift of a freezable food will also help cut down on the likelihood of food waste. Here are a few ideas, to be paired whichever way you please:
- A kugel
- A container of homemade soup
- A loaf of bread or challah
- A small cake (perhaps this Israeli chocolate cake or a caramelly Apple Dapple Cake)
And Finally, Give Generously
Depending on your community and customs, you may find that there's just too much food floating around on Purim, and that you don't want to contribute to food waste. Many families choose to donate to a charity instead of giving out dozens of mishloach manot – and even if you do give mishloach manot to family and friends, consider how you can fulfill the mitzvah of giving matanot l’evyonim (gifts to those in need) and tzedakah (literally “justice,” but sometime understood as “charity”). Check out our Purim Social Action Guide for ideas.
Looking for more ideas for your mishloach manot? Check out this great video from BimBam.
And the ideas keep coming! This videos has even more suggestions for mishloach manot-making: