20+ DIY Cold or Flu Care Package Ideas to Send

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Did your dad ever cover you up with the newspaper while you were shivering from the flu? Has your granddad every made you gargle with some whiskey when your coughing caused a sore throat?  Were you ever subjected to quinine or laxatives to get rid of a cold or flu ailment?

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Unfortunately, there’s no cure for the common cold, and you can’t starve the flu no matter what your great-grandma has told you. But there’s a lot of theories passed from generation to generation about curing ailments—many of which will make you gut laugh when you’re older.

So, what do you do when your loved one is already sick and feeling horrible? Scientists and doctors are working on a cureall. Until then, here are some ways to lessen the time your loved one feels under the weather, whether with healthy foods or love.

Cold or Flu Care Package Ideas for Your Partner or Spouse

Some partners or spouses make terrible patients. While others make terrible nurses. But it’s no wonder; we’re all at our best and worst with the ones we love most. For those sick days, here are some ways to help both the “patient” and the “nurse.”

1. Essential oils

Choose some essential oils that help clear sinuses or decrease stress in a hot bath or shower. A few quick online searches will help you pick which ones to grab from your local herbalist or herb shop.

Pro-tip: If you can, try to make the decisions on what to purchase yourself. Your spouse doesn’t need another decision or research assignment when they’re already under the weather.

2. Juice cleanse

Staying hydrated when you are ill is vital. That’s why hometown juice bars with pickup or delivery options can be a lifesaver. Look for a local store that offers healthy combinations of probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals. 

Pro-tip: Many locations have add-ons like honey, vitamin C, and echinacea.

3. Broth and socks

Although broths come ready-made in most supermarkets, there’s probably a soul-warming recipe from a family cookbook you can use instead.

Plus, when you make it yourself, you’ll have plenty of leftover ingredients to make dinner for yourself. When you deliver the broth, give your partner some socks too—they’ll be all set for a cozy evening of recovery. 

4. Symptom-related meds

Pharmacists are often an untapped resource when it comes to feeling better. You may need to wait in line, but don’t shy away from asking the local professionals when looking for the right over-the-counter medications. 

Pro-tip: When prepping a hospital care package for someone else, it’s wise to seek the help of medical professionals; in cases related to severe illnesses especially.

5. Freezer aisle goodies

The frozen aisle is an often untapped resource for ailments. You’ve got sorbet, and ice pops for sore throats. There are frozen peas and corn, which work as cold compresses for fevers. Plus, there’s no end to the number of comfort foods you’ll find to help you get through your partner’s cold or flu.

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Cold or Flu Care Package Ideas for College Students

College students are stressed out trying to balance homework, work-study, internships, and being on their own for the first time. Add an illness, and the stress amplifies. Read on for ways to care for them from afar.

6. Home cooking

Do you make fantastic chicken noodle soup? How about an excellent rice porridge?

If you live nearby, spend some time in the kitchen whipping up some classic family recipes to drop off at your student’s apartment so they can heat your homemade goodness instead of trying to make something on their own. Check out our guide on freezer-friendly sympathy meals for some ideas.

7. Soup on delivery

Hot pots, laksa, egg drop soup, okayu, sopa de pollo, chicken pulau, and chicken noodle soup can be delivered to loved ones when they need some care while away at college. Just do a quick web search and call up a local spot for delivery. 

Pro-tip: Think twice about milk-based soups when dealing with mucus-related issues.

8. Grocery delivery

Compile a delivery list of all of the foods you used to buy for your college student when they were living at home. Include everything from soda crackers to ginger-flavored soda, turmeric tonics, orange juice, popsicles, and other food or drink items. Then pick a service and have it delivered right to their doorstep.

9. Over-the-counter therapy

You can’t send an over-the-counter cold and flu fixes through the mail, but you can send your loved one’s trusted roommate a list to run to the store for you. 

Pro-tip: To make this easier, send text screenshots of the items you’d like them to buy.

10. Ice packs and hot packs

Did you forget the med-kit when packing up your kids for college? Get ahead of the game by sending a care package soon into their school experience. Include both ice and hot packs and anything soothing for a shower, like eucalyptus or lavender. 

Cold or Flu Care Package Ideas for Your Grandparent or Older Family Members

Elders are picky about their medicine. At a certain age, some medications can be dangerous. Consider their background, location, and abilities when putting together a care package. Here are a few options:

11. Menthol products

Menthol products are super useful for colds even though the younger generations may not appreciate the smell or applications. In your get well gift, include lozenges, rubs, and anything else that helps suppress coughing. 

12. Old-fashioned candies

Lemon, butterscotch, anise, root beer, and peppermint are flavor favorites among the older generations.

Ring up the local confectionary or look for an online resource for some delivery or shipping options. These goodies will help tremendously with sore throats during any cold season. 

13. Happiness in a box

Rita Mae Brown said, “Happiness is pretty simple: someone to love, something to do, something to look forward to.” Using that sage wisdom, send your loved one a hand-written letter, a book, or a puzzle with a promise to visit soon. You’ll fulfill each part of Brown’s vision of happiness in one small box.

14. Hot toddy recipe 

Along with a lovely card or note, send the makings for a hot toddy (minus the whiskey). You’ll need to buy:

  • Lemon
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Sugar

Pro-tip: Make sure to let them know to go sparingly on the nutmeg; otherwise it will taste awful.

15. Plush luxury 

Any means that can help someone take a load off will increase recovery from illnesses. So, include some plush items like a robe and slippers from a high-end store. Make it an experience with peppermint cream and bath bombs for that extra touch of luxury.

Cold or Flu Care Package Ideas for Kids

Most kids don’t like to eat healthy or sit still even when these are crucial ingredients for recovery during cold and flu season. So, check out a few ideas to tackle both of those little problems and help them feel better sooner.

16. Gummies

Vitamin intake is crucial for kiddos, especially when they aren’t feeling well. So, look for some yummy gummy options to help while they’re feeling poorly.

It’s important to consider medical direction for additional vitamin support in cases of severe medical conditions.

17. Natural fruit pops

Frozen fruit pops support healing sore throat issues. Luckily, you can find these cold icy pops in any number of flavors. So, pick up several of those flavors to suit the needs of your little ones.

Pro-tip: Poke a hole in the center of a muffin liner and nestle it up the popsicle stick. It’ll catch the drips. 

18. Video games

A few new video games make a great excuse to keep kids on bed rest to avoid a more prolonged fever or cold. Look for ones that increase cognition as opposed to mere gaming fun. 

Pro-tip: Buy something you can play together.

19. Science projects

Being stuck at home with a cold is a huge bummer. Look online for a few science projects for the savvy kids, like pumpkin volcanos, growing soap, prehistoric molds, eclipse boxes, or balloon speakers. The trick is to get their minds working on something apart from the illness at hand. 

20. Stuffed toys or warm blankets

Quality blankets can be taken to college and beyond so that they’ll always have a piece of you with them.

But right now, fluffy toys and blankets are useful for holding tight while feeling miserable. Plus, they’ll be able to wrap themselves up and sit in front of a good movie. 

Care Package Remedies for Colds and Flus

When you don’t know what to say when someone is sick, say it with a well-thought-out care package. One that makes someone feel loved and cared for even if you’re not the best nurse. 


  1. Belk, C. M., et al. (2019). Biology: Science for life. Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson. Science Experiments for Kids. (2020). Science Fun. www.sciencefun.org/kidszone/experiments/ 
  2. Stanborough, R. (2019). 10 Tips for How to Get Rid of a Cold Fast & the Science Behind Them. Healthline. www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/how-to-get-rid-of-a-cold-fast 

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