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Goodie boxes for the college bound

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Please weigh in on what goodies would travel by post and what would a college kid love?

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  1. When I was in college, my mom would send me bags of my favorite candy, homemade cookies, popcorn, granola bars. Individually wrapped snacks that you can throw in your bag on the way to class are great.

    1. Homemade granola might also be a good call...you can eat out of hand or as cereal in the morning.

      Remembering the care packages that friends received, the most important thing is to pack well....I remember many friends getting crumbs instead of cookies.

      1. My mom once sent me something and used bags of her homemade caramel popcorn as the "packing peanuts". I graduated from college 16 years ago, and still remember that package! :-)

        1. If the kid in question has access to a kitchen, a microwave, or a hot pot, maybe something like boxed macaroni and cheese, instant oatmeal, Cup-a-Soup, hot chocolate, or tea. Good for making a quick meal if you don't feel like going to the cafeteria or comfort food for when you're feeling sick or homesick.

          1 Reply
          1. re: shellyesq

            When sending baked goods, wrap in plastic, then aluminum, then freeze. Place in the box to be sent still frozen, so that they get more distance. The idea of packing with peanuts is good, newspaper is another good cushioning option, that or the bubble wrap easily purchasable

            Definitely second the hot chocolate (good quality) esp if it's a cold climate school.

            Something else that might be wonderful is a gift certificate to a local food delivery service, or online food delivery service, or local market or restaurant or bakery, that would deliver fresh goods whenever the colleger feels the urge.

            Snickety-snack type items are great for late-night snacking that isn't too calorically dense, like taffies or individually wrapped candy types. Other things that are good to send are those that evoke nostalgia... i.e. candy buttons, gummy coke bottles, peeps, those kind of kid items that make you feel at home.

            Baked goods that travel well and last... krispy treats, cornbread, gingergread (gramercy tavern on epicurious), fudgy brownies, whoopie pies, B&W cookies, etc.

            The recommendations for breakfast items is really a good one because most kids either don't make it up in time for real breakfast or don't have time to stop by the dining hall, so tend to keep bagels (have 'em delivered from a local bakery as a treat!), or granola bars, or boxes of cereal in their dorm rooms as a quick grab'n'go, so you might consider sending mini cereal boxes, or homemade granola/energy bars... we ate a lot of zone and balance bars on the go.

          2. I have a step-daughter going off to college next week...and I just bought a vacuum sealer (a coincidence). Have been thinking about how I could package stuff like cookies, brownies, trail mix, etc. (When you vacuum seal baked goods it flattens them - but my vacuum sealer has a pulse mode that allows you to suck out some of the air without flattening.)

            I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a way to send cupcakes without having them get totally ruined during shipping---but haven't come up with anything yet.

            2 Replies
            1. re: HungryLetsEat

              The best thing I can think of for cupcakes is a cardboard poster tube.

              1. re: HungryLetsEat

                If you wouldn't mind sending them unfrosted you could package them in boxes with dividers, like glassware boxes or wine boxes (I suppose you'd have to cut that down) or maybe even Christmas ornament boxes. Fill in space above them with little baggies of marshmallows or packing peanuts, or whatever you think of that's nice and soft with no rough edges to cut into the cake tops. You could send disposable knives and the frosting in its own container and she could have the fun of frosting and eating.

                just by the way, i'll add that when sending cookies I stack them inside a ziploc, then put the tube-shaped bag of cookies inside one of those tubular wine gift boxes. I don't send it just like that, obviously, but place the cookie tube into larger box with the rest of the goodies going and the big round cookies hold together nicely.

                She'll love whatever you send, though, no doubt. Tasty mail from home, always good!

              2. Fudge, brownies, pralines, etc. are fun for late night munchies, in addition to what has already been mentioned. (If they have a microwave, there are lots of things you can send in addition to your home made treats.) My daughters always liked things they could share with their friends as it was a way to meet and connect with other kids in a fun way, which is especially important freshman year. I have to say, my daughters were also trying to avoid the "freshman fifteen" which happens quickly to a lot of kids living on their own for the first time due to all of the pizza, Ben and Jerry's, etc. One of the things both of my girls loved was a gift certificate to a fun restaurant in their college town or one to a grocery store like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods so they could get things they needed. Whatever you send, they will LOVE, even if the cookies crumble in the mail. Stick in some newspaper clippings, magazines, or little reminders of home, and they will be thrilled. That note saying they have a package waiting is just as thrilling as opening it up to see what is waiting inside.

                1. Nutella and a loaf of bread. Home made cookies/brownies are always a hit.

                  1. I've sent my sister lots of care packages over the past few years, and the cookies, brownies, and rice krispie treats were the biggest hits. A note on the brownies: what I always did to keep the freshness was to take the parchment paper sling containing the brownies intact out of the pan (when they're all cooled) wrap it well in alumninum foil, and then put the whole thing in a ziploc bag (an 8x8 pan size is perfect for this) without cutting into individual pieces. This helps preserve the freshness, and then she could cut away when she felt like it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JasmineG

                      Sounds good! With brownies, I'd probably bake it in a disposable aluminum pan and mail the whole pan.

                    2. During college I loved my Aimsh nannies care packages with baked goods, but also really would have loved some things I could eat that weren't loaded with calories, because the dining hall was atrocious. My mom would freeze meals for me that I would bring back in a styrofoam coolers when I came back from break for a care package I would suggest: low-fat muffins, rosemary crackers or kashi crackers from Trader joes, mixed nuts or packages of almonds, whole wheat pepperoni rolls, rasins, etc things that a weight conscious girl or boy drinking more calories perhaps then before would appreciate and of course include a card with a little money it, it doesn't have to be a lot, but that was of course always the most appreciated care package I recieved. I could always buy the cheap stuff like cup of noodles, popcorn, mac and cheese, but it was the good pricey stuff I was used to at home I loved to get.

                      1. I loved getting chocolate chip cookies and brownies. If there is a local packaged food specialty that she cannot get at school, send those as well. We used to have a local potato chip company in my home town, and my mom would always send me a few bags which were huge hits with my friends.