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Even in this high tech world of computers and innovation, some basic skills will go a long way towards helping your child succeed in college. For many parents, the time eventually comes when summer is not about camp for the kids, but is about making plans for college. You have raised them well and taught them so much. Now there are two big skills that you can teach them in order to help them get through college. Showing them small space cooking techniques and a few vegetables or fruits to grow indoors will keep them eating healthy and on a budget.

Cooking in a Small Space
Dorm room living at college is known for the lack of space. Even though a dorm room doesn’t have a kitchen area, it does not mean that your kids will not be able to prepare meals in their dorm room.  We suggest three different cooking tools that do not take up much space and are known for preparing healthy, homemade meals. The first is a small slow cooker. Slow cookers can be used to prepare delicious soups and stews that can help any homesick feelings. The healthy aspect of cooking with

A slow cooker is that it can make lean meats tender and juicy; just add soup stock, vegetables, and spices. The easy parts with slow cookers is that it is a one pot meal and all of the ingredients can go in the pot in the morning and they will come home after a long day of classes and studying to a warm meal waiting for them.  

The second dorm room cooking device is a steamer. Electronic steamers are sold in a number of different sizes. You should be looking for a single serving electric steamer. Steamers can prepare vegetables, seafood, and some fun Asian meals like dumplings or pot stickers. Lunch or dinner can be ready in 12 minutes or less. Less than half the time it would take for pizza delivery and, of course, much healthier. The third type of dorm room cooking that does not take up much space is a sandwich press.

Sandwich presses are not just for sandwiches either, you can teach your college student to grill meats on it, or even make omelets.  One of the best things about a sandwich press (besides hot sandwiches) is that when you prepare meats on it, the fat runs off and makes it a leaner meal. Recipes for all three cooking styles are readily available online and they have a very small learning curve to figure out.

Indoor Vegetable Garden
A small bit of research can help you and your college student learn what vegetables and fruits can be grown in doors in a small space. You will find that helping your college student create a small window sill garden is not a difficult task. Some vegetables that can grow in small planters are: micro lettuces, peppers, baby carrots, eggplant, and radishes. Fruits that can be grown in your college student’s dorm room include: dwarf bananas, apricots, and strawberries. Learning what grows in the location where the college is will also help lead you to a successful edible garden. What could be better than home grown, organic fruits and vegetables for your child to have at their disposal while at college.

Bio: Amanda Greene is author and Brand Manager for RHL.org, online supplier of dorm bedding. She enjoys writing about college and education topics.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who are sending their kids off to college.

Image courtesy of Julia Frost via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.