Are you sending off a kid to college this fall? Or will be in a few years? This is a good time to get your kid sent off on a good foundation. If you are a prepper, you will add a few more things to their pile of things that need to go with them.
I have a tendency to go a little overboard sometimes, but I want to make sure that my kid has enough food as well as other emergency items while at college. My kids are used to my food storage at home and I want them to also have some food stored at college. You know, just in case.
You are probably thinking, "We have just paid or have gotten enough scholarships to pay for an overpriced meal plan. Why do they need more food?"
Well, why do you stockpile food?
Dorm rooms are not very big. They are about the size of an average bedroom and they manage to fit two kids, two beds, two closets, two desks, and two dressers in them. You still need to get their stuff in there too. Most colleges put the beds on lofts now when greatly improves floor space which means they can fit a futon in there too with a dorm size refrigerator and a small microwave. You want your kids to have those things to make life easier for them. Some dorms even come with a community kitchen so your kids can still bake and cook if they want.
A lot of the colleges do not allow certain small appliances in the dorm rooms. Most will not allow you to bring anything with a coil that heats up. So countertop burners and toasters are out. Toaster ovens are usually not allowed. You will have to ask about the rest. Coffee makers are usually allowed which is cool because they can be used for just heating up water.
I like to send my kids to college with a little bit of food. Thankfully, I took the time to teach my kids how to cook the basics and beyond. While I try to keep the food simple for college, they can also use a microwave and have a fridge to keep things cool as well as keep leftovers.
In this list, I am not accounting for food allergies and intolerances. We do deal with lactose intolerance at our home and my kid is quite aware of what she can and can not eat. If you have these things to think about, adjust the list accordingly. I also am not promising this to be a healthy foods list because I have raised teenagers long enough to know they don't always eat healthily.
10 Foods Your College Kid Needs For Their Own Food Storage
1. Peanut butter and jam. My kids have all lived off these two things along with bread. I usually just send a jar, but those to-go cups are pretty good too.
2. A bottle or jar of honey. You can eat it with peanut butter or use it to sweeten your hot drinks. It also comes in handy for sore throats.
3. Ramen noodles. These are not the healthiest, but they are quick, filling, and cheap.
4. Macaroni and Cheese. Again, not the healthiest, but quick, filling, and cheap. We usually buy Annie's so we buy a little higher quality.
5. Cans of Soup. Soup is a little healthier than the above options but can take up some room. I would stick to 3-4 cans and replenish as needed. You can buy them all in one can or the just add water cans of soup. It's whatever your college kid prefers.
6. Granola and Protein Bars. These are quick and on-the-go which is perfect for your college kid who is trying to get to their first class on time.
7. Pasta and Small jars of Pasta Sauce. This is a personal favorite in our house. Some of the kids don't even need the pasta sauce. They just add butter, garlic salt, and parmesan cheese. However they prefer it, you can probably store it in a college dorm room.
8. Salt, pepper, and any other seasonings they prefer. They will need to season their food.
9. Crackers. Crackers can be used instead of bread and stored a bit easier. They can be eaten on their own, used with soup, used with peanut butter, and more. My kids also prefer to eat saltine crackers when their stomachs are upset.
10. Oatmeal packets and Cereal. Again, these are quick and easy. Somewhat filling and nutritious.
I would also add in their favorite beverages. If they like coffee, tea, and/or hot chocolate, send that with them. Buying it on campus is expensive. Having it late at night when they need to stay awake later can be hard to find that late at night. I would also take a 12 pack or 24 pack of bottled water to have just in case.
Some of these will take nothing to prepare. Some of these will just take water which I hope your college kid has access to. Some of these will take butter and milk which can be kept easily in the small dorm size fridge. All of these are easy.
This is food storage so this is nothing fancy. You can also keep microwave popcorn and more in their food storage. Some of you will think this is far from being very healthy and nutritious. I hate to break this to you, but college kids who are away from home do not always make the best food choices. They will figure it out eventually, but they don't always want homemade chicken noodle soup with homemade broth and organic chicken. They want quick and easy.
You will also need some utensils and cooking supplies for your college student so they can use their food storage. At a minimum, I would get these things:
- Collapsible strainer or colander
- 2-cup and/or 4-cup Measuring Cup
- An oversized microwavable mug
- A microwavable bowl
- Forks, spoons, and butter knife
- Paring knife
- Serving spoon
- Small cutting board
- Dish soap, scratchpad, dishcloth, and dish towel
Why do they need food storage at college? Sometimes their classes will run over the lunch or supper hour and they can not get to the cafeteria. Something may happen like a power outage. We prepare for a lot and keep a lot of food just in case. Nothing should be different for your college kid in that respect because we never know what can happen.
What else would you add to this list?
Thanks for reading,
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