Healthier Finals Week Care Packages for Your Young Adult

Woman taping up cardboard box
Eric Audras/ONOKY/Getty Images

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 eating more than their share of pizza and guzzling caffeine when what they need is protein, complex carbohydrates and plenty of fruits and vegetables. 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.

Healthy Care Packages

  1. 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 ($49 and up).
  2. Spicy chipotle-glazed pecans or other energizing nut snacks.
  3. Beef jerky or hard salami.
  4. Tasty and satisfying whole-grain crackers, or peanut butter-filled crackers.
  5. A small jar of natural crunchy peanut butter and a box of graham crackers.
  6. Dried fruit such as apricots, cherries, apples, and more. Also, organic fruit snacks are easy to carry around and eat in a pinch.
  7. Instant hot cocoa mix, instant hot soup, instant oatmeal—anything healthy that can be made in a microwave is a good idea.
  8. A can of bean dip and a bag of chips.
  9. Microwave popcorn or popcorn kernels and plain brown lunch bags, which is cheaper and healthier and without the nasty chemicals or oozing fat: 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.
  10. A Starbucks gift card.
  11. Biscotti, which offer sweet crunch without a lot of sugar.
  12. A mini-loaf of homemade chocolate chip pumpkin bread.
  13. Sugar-free throat lozenges, Vitamin C lozenges or Emergen-C packets, along with ibuprofen for sore necks from hunching over a laptop for hours at a time.
  14. A DIY set of adorable exam worry dolls that will do the worrying instead.
  15. An assortment of teas to calm and relax at the end of a stressful day of studying—chamomile, peppermint, and honey ginger are just a few of the more relaxing teas.
  16. A lavender-scented body lotion for the girls is one of the most relaxing scents and is often used during massages. A lavender-scented pillow is a great way to help students who are stressed and have a hard time sleeping—a few deep breaths and they'll be off to dreamland in no time.