There's no doubt that cookie-filled care packages raise the spirits of homesick college students, but when exam time rolls around, stressed out kids need healthier fare. As the parent of a young adult, you know they may be skipping meals or porking out on pizza and caffeine when what they need is protein, complex carbohydrates and plenty of fruits and vegetables. So instead of shipping cookies, which send blood sugar soaring and then crashing back to earth, try filling that care package with a few of these instead:
- Fresh organic fruit, such as apples and tangerines, from your garden, favorite market or a fruit delivery service like the Fruit Guys - they're a San Francisco-based organic fruit delivery company, known for their workplace fruit deliveries. The "DormSnack" package includes 16 servings of organic fruit, delivered to any dorm ($28 and up).
- Spicy chipotle-glazed pecans
- Beef jerky or hard salami
- Crunchy whole grain crackers, or peanut butter-filled crackers
- A small jar of peanut butter and a box of graham crackers
- Dried fruit
- Instant hot cocoa mix
- A can of bean dip and a bag of chips
- Microwave popcorn or popcorn kernels and plain brown lunch bags (cheaper and healthier!). Drop a 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels in a paper bag, fold over the top a couple of times and microwave it for a minute and a half to two minutes. The result? Fresh, tasty popcorn without any of the nasty chemicals or oozing fat. (You can add your own butter and seasonings, of course.)
- A Starbucks gift card (in the hopes that they'll at least accompany that caffeine rush with some milk!)
- Biscotti, which offer sweet crunch without a lot of sugar
- A mini-loaf of homemade chocolate chip pumpkin bread
- Sugar-free throat lozenges, Vitamin C lozenges or Emergen-C packets
- A DIY set of adorable exam worry dolls that will do the worrying instead
Also, check out Hipkits.com which provides care packages specifically designed for students:
- The "Brain and Grain" package offers healthy snacks plus some cool stress toys to keep your college kid studying hard.
- The "Exam Cram" is tailor made for exam survival. The gift box is chock full of exam essentials -- caffeine, sugar, vitamin C, quick healthy snacks, neat stress relief toys, inspirational messages and some practical supplies.
- The "Focus on Finals" kit is a specially curated box "full of snacks and tools specifically designed to increase energy, focus, and concentration. With superfoods like pistachios for essential fatty acids and many items made with whole grains, they'll accomplish more in less time." It also includes "a mini Zen gardening kit to create a sense of inner peace, and our signature Can Koozie with an empowering word collage."
- The "Stress Buster" kit is a stand in if you can't be there to give you kid a hug. "This well-priced kit has a ton of favorite treats, useful tools, and includes a Yo-Yo and other great items designed to dial the stress down to a low simmer." You can also personalize the kit with additional add-on items.