Goodie boxes for the college bound
Please weigh in on what goodies would travel by post and what would a college kid love?
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.
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.
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! :-)
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.
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.
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.
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!