How To Make A College Care Package: 4 Recipes and 5 Tips!
This week I had the chance to send our daughter her first college care package!
Though she has received other things since starting college in Rhode Island (box from Amazon Pantry, a package and money from grandparents, flowers from her boyfriend at home) this her first package of homemade goodies!
I chose to make her two snacky treats and two sweet cookie treats, and I hope that these will cover her salty/savory/sweet cravings for a little while.
The timing for this package worked out beautifully as I was able to send them down with her boyfriend who was driving to see her the next day.
Thinking on what to send our daughter and how to send it , I came up with a few helpful tips for family members and friends of college kids, getting ready to send care packages of their own! Here are some tidbits I've learned so far for sending care packages to kids at college:
Check on the service in their college mailroom
At our daughter's school, the processing of letters and packages in their Mailroom is slow right now - and no wonder with a huge influx of new students and changing addresses for returning students! Our daughter gave me a head's up that her mail was taking a while to reach her. So, if I had shipped a package of fresh cookies and snacks, between travel time to Rhode Island and processing there it could have been over a week before it reached her hands. By then the cookies and snacks may have been tasting less-than-fresh. Check with your student as to how the mail/package delivery has been. And until that processing gets worked out, send packages with a friend headed their way (a great reason to connect with families whose kids are attending college in the same area as your kid.) Amazon Pantry is another easy option to send prepackaged treats. Speaking of prepackaged treats...
Don't underestimate the power of convenience foods
Our daughter's first non-homemade care package request was for Easy Mac, Goldfish Crackers, and small cans of Spicy V-8 Juice. Her request surprised me because they have incredible food service on campus from Bon Appetit. However, her explanation made sense: having these convenience foods in her room (along with her microwave-refrigerator combo) makes it easier for her to put in a intense block of studying and work, instead of stopping to head across campus for food. It also helps on busy mornings when she has to dash to class and there is no time to get to breakfast at the dining hall. She also keeps a small stash of packaged snacks, energy bars and popcorn.
And speaking of popcorn, have you seen the small, glass popcorn poppers for the microwave?
They use regular bagged popcorn kernels, which saves money and waste over bagged microwave popcorn. Our daughter picked up hers at Bed Bath and Beyond. Two brands of these poppers are Catamount and Epoca.
Check the weather
We are all looking forward to the crisp, cool days of Fall...but right now many of the days are still really hot! This means that it is twice as hot in our daughter's dorm room (no AC.) So if I send cookies loaded with chocolate chips, homemade candy, fudge, etc. these snacks will have a very short and melty life in her room. (Well, maybe they would anyway with a floor full of hungry kids away from home!) For this care package I stuck with cookies and snacks that will hold up in the heat (recipes are below.) I'll save the melty stuff for cooler weather.
Throw in some extras
Extras can be practical, silly, or heartfelt. In this package I threw in some ginger tea (for upset stomachs), popcorn toppings, and a little note from her dad, brother and me with our love!
As for those snacky-sweet treas, below are the goodies I sent to her. Click on the titles to see the recipes!
I wish I could include these two extras in the box:
They are missing her so much!
Do you have a kid/niece/nephew/grandchild/friend at college? What do you like to send them?