These easy care package ideas are here to help give you ideas for what to send or share with a family or friend in need—whether to celebrate a new baby, mark a life transition, or to ease the burden of an illness or other event.

care package in blue bin.

Care Package Ideas

Sending a care package is one of my favorite things to do for a friend in need, a family who has had a new baby, or a loved one going through a life transition. It’s also a great way to stay in touch with a college student or out-of-town family member.

You can easily pack up a box with a fun care package ideas to send through the mail, or you can drop one off locally. Either way, it’s a great way to send a hug to someone who may need it.

Shelf-Stable Food and Snacks

Easy to eat snacks are always a good idea, in any circumstance. And there are so many great options for parents and families. Some of my favorites include: granola bars, nut butter packets, Homemade Granola Bars, packets of instant oatmeal, Lactation Cookies for a new mom, crackers, cereal bars, fruit leather, dark chocolate chips, and pretzel. If there are younger kids, add in some pouches and puffs.

(You can also stick in some activities for the kids like coloring books and stickers.)

Easy Pantry Meals

Sending the components for an easy meal can take some of the planning and shopping burden away, and make it easy to get food on the table. Some favorite pantry meals include:

  • Pasta, white beans, and marinara sauce
  • Pasta, salami, jarred artichokes, jarred pesto
  • Shelf-stable milk carton, instant oatmeal packets, dried fruit
  • Fully cooked rice packets, canned beans, canned salsa, tortilla chips
  • Fully cooked heat-and-eat meal packets from the ethnic aisle of the grocery store (such as Channa Masala or ramen noodles)

Gift Cards

If you aren’t sure what a family or friend needs, opting for a gift card is a thoughtful option. Consider one to a favorite restaurant, grocery store, coffee shop, bakery for sweet treats and goodies, or even Target.


Self-care favorites including nice bath wash, bubble bath in favorite scents, lip balm, bath bombs, lotion, candles, and more can be options if you know the recipient needs a little more personal care—or the simple reminder that they can take that time for themselves.

Other options to add to a package with toiletries include a small cozy blanket, cozy socks, slippers, and face masks.


Coffee or tea is a lovely gift and often a real essential—and it can be personalized for a specific person’s preferences, You can do ground coffee or instant coffee to simplify or go with whole beans if they prefer to grind their own. You can also send K-cups if you know they have a single-serve machine, or a new mug or travel mug for on-the-go. And hot chocolate for the kids is great, too.

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  1. If you visit dont forget to smuggle in a bottle of wine. The parents need to ease the tension after a terrifying day.