Your Guide to Sending Treats of All Kinds to Those You Love with Care Packages!
No care package is complete without snacks. No matter who you are sending it to – college student, a sick friend, a service member- adding food is a must! After all, everyone eats! Including snacks can be one of the easiest ways to customize your care package to its recipient. This can mean anything from sending a friend their favorite brand of chips to baking your college student their favorite homemade treat. Loved ones will be shown how much time and effort you put into the package by the foods you include.
That being said, your care package is probably going to be traveling via mail for a few days at the least. This factor can make it tough to choose what snacks to put in your gift. There are a lot of things to consider, like how long your package will take to get to its destination, what kind of temperatures will it be traveling in, what conditions will it be put through, etc. All of these contribute to the overall successful delivery of your package. Since you want your care package to arrive at your loved one’s door fully intact, there are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to sending foods. I have created a list to guide you through what foods to include in your package and how to package them to ensure they will arrive at the recipient’s home intact.
It’s easy! Go to your local store and pick out your loved one’s favorite snacks to pack into a care package. Photo courtesy of pexels.com.
Quick Snacks & Sweets
Everyone needs a sweet treat! Including at least one snack that will satisfy your loved one’s sweet tooth is a necessity. When it comes to sweets, prepackaged and store-bought are generally the way to go. That way you don’t have to worry about them going bad. Grab your favorite cookies, candies, and cakes from the grocery store and pack them up tight to send out.
If your recipient is more on the savory side, try adding things like popcorn, chips, nuts, and more. Beef jerky, canned soups, and cereal are also great options. This is where you could add in any microwavable items like ramen.
- Steer away from chocolate, especially in Summer. The heat will melt it all away. Remember to think of where your package is traveling, not just where it is traveling from. It may be freezing cold where you live, but the middle of Summer where your recipient does.
Ideas: Try putting together a little collection of your recipient’s favorite candies. Most box candies will hold up during the trip. Make your own or try this Sweet Tooth Care Package. This is a super-easy way of customizing your package for your loved one.
One of the most special ways to include food in a care package is to make them yourself! Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.
Sending homemade goodies is arguably the best way to make a care package recipient feel close to you. Baking a loved one their favorite treat is so much better than store-bought snacks. When the recipient tastes something you have cooked, it makes them think of you specifically.
With baked goods, it can be especially hard to get those delivered in one piece. The best things to sends are things that don’t go bad easily like trail mix, granola, crackers, pretzels, and other dehydrated things.
- Pay attention to when your package is set to arrive whenever sending goods that may expire. A good rule of thumb is to assume that your package will arrive 2-4 weeks within sending. You don’t want your recipient to open a box of moldy muffins.
- To avoid mold, use white sugar instead of brown sugar, honey, molasses, or corn syrup when cooking.
- When it comes to baking cookies, try and refrain from including brittle cookies in your care package. Chewy cookies hold up much better during the journey. Don’t mistake undercooked for chewy, that will predispose your homemade treats to mold as well. There is a happy medium. Cookies with custards, icings, or special toppings will spoil easily.
Ideas: Try making these delicious mason jar cakes. They are an easy way to package cakes that will last longer and retain its flavor. Not to mention these jars are super cute and create an easy serving dish for the recipient.
When we think of care packages, we usually think of boxes filled to the brim with snacks and candy we identify as our guilty pleasure. That doesn’t have to necessarily be the case.
- Sending these healthy foods to a college student is a great idea! It is an opportunity to replace those ramen noodle packs with some healthier options.
Ideas: power bars, dried fruit, dried veggies, cracker packs, canned fruit, whole-wheat cereals, instant oatmeal, protein powder, canned tuna, popcorn, salsa, rice cakes, all-natural jerky, lentil chips, sunflower seeds
Packing all of your food items to make a care package is an important step in the process. Photo courtesy of ups.com.
Packing Up Your Food
This is definitely the most important step to keeping your food items intact so they can arrive to the recipient as intended. You have to pack everything well. If you pack your items right, then the outside elements should not get through to your care package. Even prepackaged foods are perishable to some degree, so make sure to wrap everything twice, especially baked goods.
- Clearly label every item so that the recipient knows what’s inside.
- Arrange any individual treats neatly in a plastic container or tin with wax paper between each item.
- If you’re mailing soft cookies, you can add a slice of white bread into the container before sealing. The cookies will absorb the moisture from the bread, keeping them tender longer.
- Quick breads should be wrapped twice in plastic wrap and then sealed inside a gallon-size plastic bag, or wrapped again in foil. Granola can be sealed inside a sturdy plastic bag.
- Choose a box where you can fill up the entire thing with your items. Fill in any extra space with packing peanuts or recycled newspaper.
- Choose at least Priority Mail, which takes two to three days and includes tracking.
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