They’re almost off! With A’level results in (albeit somewhat controversially), student life is back and for many it is almost time for the fly the nest.

Whether they are returning, or venturing off to a college or university for the first time, making sure they are packed up with all they need is all part of loving and letting go. Some students are excited and up for the challenge, while others can be are anxious and daunted and as a parent you want to make sure they are all set.

I speak from first hand experience, as my daughter is heading off in the next few weeks and I am certainly feeling a little apprehensive.  My colleague, Rachel’s daughter went last year and is therefore an old hand, so together we thought it would be a great idea to put some top tips together to help make this transitional time a little easier.

In the current circumstances, it won’t be quite like it would have been, but you can make things easier for them by getting them ready and providing them with some basic essentials.

Essential Kit

It they are going into non-catered halls or shared houses they are probably going to end up with several toasters and sandwich makers, but some things are essentials.

  1. When shopping a top tip is to try and keep thinks unique.  They are less likely to get lost or go walkies and let’s face it the number of people purchasing from the main retailers will make identification of individual items difficult. Maybe go through your own cupboards to reuse and give them something familiar.  It might even allow you to treat yourself to some new items.
  2. It is also a good idea to name items with waterproof name labels to avoid confusion.  I love the stick on labels from Easy2Name, which are dishwasher proof. Just a word of caution, don’t stick on items which may go in the oven or on the underside of pans, for these you could always label with marker pen.
  3. The basics necessities:
  • Cutlery: spoon, fork, tea, spoon, knife
  • Mugs & glasses (several as you can guarantee they will have friends no doubt there will be a few breakages)
  • Crockery: Plate, bowls
    • Pans (of slightly different sizes), frying pan, Cooking Utensils,
    • Spatula, wooden spoon, slotted spoon, whisk, garlic press.  We particularly recommend silicone spoons and utensils.
    • Can & bottle opener, peeler
    • Sharp knives.
    • Sieve/ Colander, measuring jug & grater
  • Chopping board (ideally 2, colour coded, one for meat and one for no meat)
  • Tea Towels and dishcloths (A few because who knows when the washing up will get done!)
  • Baking tray
  • Baking tin (use for cakes, brownies or lasagne)
  • Some Tupperware (or suggest they clean out and keep some of their takeaway containers!)

Luxury items you might want to think about are a Coffee machine, reusable take away cups, a Wok.

Other tips and things not so easily thought of are laundry bags, Hangers that go over the back of the doors for coats and bags. They aren’t allowed candles so get some battery powered flameless tea lights or fairy lights for the girls.

Settling In

As we said, it is a daunting time for new students, many leaving home for the first time and so it is often nice to also send them off with some treats.  Making new friends is really important and what better ice breaker than them baking something tasty for their new flatmates?  Our foolproof simple, but delicious Baking Mix Eco Pouches and Gourmet Pancake Mixes, will enable them to do just that without the need to buy loads of different ingredients.

I have also found that family members have been asking to send my daughter a moving in gift or something to make them feel at home.  Rachel’s daughter said that some of her friends received small care packages, which arrived in the post over those first few weeks and were really appreciated.  Alternatively contributions towards the basic essentials or luxury items might be alternative.

Here are Katie Bakes we have a range of gifts and homewares that are ideal for students.  We have lots of great things including foolproof baking mixes, baking subscriptions and some essential kitchen kit. Take a look at our curated student gift collection for some inspiration.


Student Cooking

So now they have the kit, it is crucial that before they head off, you show your child how to do some of the basics.  It is invaluable that you teach them how to make some basic dishes, their money will run out very quickly if they rely on takeaways, deliveries or ready meals.

Our partners at Kiddy Cook have created a brilliant “Student Survival Pack”, which I can highly recommend.  It includes 10 tried and tested TikTok inspired instagram videos and recipe cards.  The videos are brilliant.  They have also got some great hints and tips on their blog for ‘Preparing Your Young Person For University’, it well worth a read.  There are lots easy recipes for other nutritious meals in the numerous student cookbooks on the market.  Alternatively suggest they check out the website StudentEats.


We hope that has given you a few tips and keep an eye on our blog over the next few weeks for some really good, tried and tested student recipes that we will be sharing with you.   You might also like to read another blog we wrote last year detailing our top 10 tips for new uni students.   If you are like me, you will probably be feeling as (if not more) apprehensive, than your child but they have an exciting time ahead but it will make it easier all round if they are a little prepared.

Student Send Off – Top Tips