6 Healthy Care Package Essentials for Deployed Troops


I remember the very first care package I mailed to my deployed husband. I was completely clueless about what to send, not having sent a care package to anyone before let alone one overseas. I remember strolling the candy aisle, contemplating between green sour chews and chocolate covered pretzels. I got so overwhelmed with the decision that I just started snagging sweets off the shelves as if I were on the game show Super Market Sweep. I figured he would be missing familiar “foods” from home, and he could always share the treats with the other guys. I didn’t include a card or pictures of our 6-month-old daughter. No. It had junk food. And I felt like I nailed it because I included “foods” from home.Healthy care packages are so important for deployed military!

My bubble burst when I got a brief email from him a couple months later about that care package saying something to the extent of, Babe, I got your package in the mail yesterday. I was really hoping for pictures and some good snacks. I put the candy in the DFAC for the guys.

Of course he was desperately hoping for photos and other family reminders (where was my head?!), but to my surprise he absolutely did not want sweets. Cookies from time to time was ok, but he really craved a variety of foods. After some clarification, all he wanted was what we typically ate at home – fruit, veggies, meats, grains, and healthy snacks.

I suppose I skipped the day they talked about care package essentials in our pre-deployment family seminars and that’s why my head was not in healthy care package mode. The truth is, if you’re enduring your first deployment as a spouse, girlfriend or other family member, no one talks about what filling foods to send your service member that isn’t cookies, rice crispy treats, or candy. Therefore, I compiled a list of 6 healthy care package essentials for your service member’s deployment that is sure to lift his or her spirits without expanding the waistline.

 

1.) Fruit

 

 

Dried fruit offers an excellent alternative to fresh fruits. They help sustain energy while feeling like a sweet treat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.) Veggies

 

Sun dried and canned veggies also offer many nutrients that fresh veggies do. This is a healthy option if he needs a little more variety in his diet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.) Dairy

 

 

You can mail liquids as long as they’re properly wrapped and have a non-refrigerated shelf life. There are many brands of dairy products that travel easily such as Horizon’s organic 1% milk. I suggest wrapping each bottled liquid in bubble wrap and then placing it in a plastic bag. That way the leak is contained if the container is damaged.

 

 

 

4.) Nuts/Seeds

 

Flaxseed, peanuts and walnuts are excellent healthy snacks to send. Peanut butter is often requested from deployed service members. Try sending all natural peanut butter void of partially hydrogenated oils and other preservatives, and doesn’t require refrigeration after opening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.) Grains

 

 

Oats and whole wheat are healthy grains. Try finding items your service member might enjoy such as whole wheat cereal or instant oatmeal with dried fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.) Meat/Seafood