RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—College students are notorious for keeping late hours and eating on the fly, and their erratic schedules and newfound freedom mean that nutritious eating often falls by the wayside. Since there are still a few weeks left before your family is reunited for Thanksgiving, a package of quick and easy solutions for breakfast, healthy study-break snacks, and comforting homemade baked goods is sure to be appreciated. And college care packages are great for keeping young scholars away from the vending machines, at least for a little while.
Some shipping advice: Send college care packages early in the week to avoid having them stuck in the campus mailroom over a weekend. Wrap baked treats in safer PVC-free plastic wrap (made from number 4 plastic), then in aluminum foil. PVC-free plastic wrap is best since additives in PVC have been linked to a higher risk of birth defects and hormone-related cancers; in addition, its production can be hazardous to workers and the environment. Cookies can go into a tin or into reusable containers made from dishwasher- and freezer-safe number 5 plastic. Place a layer of wax paper between layers of cookies. Put all the goodies into a sturdy cardboard box. If you’re not reusing a box you already have, look for a shipping box made from 100 percent—or at least a high percentage of—post-consumer recycled material. Cushion the contents with yesterday’s comics section and other newsprint to prevent them from jostling during shipping. And tell the recipient to bring the containers back for reuse the next time they come home (or to use them to help organize their messy dorm room).
When we’re living away from home for the first time, we could all use a little long-distance TLC. By sending college care packages filled with homemade edibles instead of packaged goods, you not only show you care, you avoid sending the unneeded sugar, salt, and megacalories that come with processed food. Read on for some suggestions from the Rodale Recipe Finder, and don’t forget to tuck in a handwritten note!
Published on: November 4, 2009
Updated on: March 11, 2010