Hospital Hospitality

I am sorry that I have not been posting as much this week. My grandfather had to undergo surgery, this past Thursday, and I have been back and forth to the hospital to be with him. He had an aneurysm that needed to be operated on, and has been suffering some setbacks from his surgery. He is currently in ICU and is needing lots of prayers, so please keep our family in your thoughts. I know he would really appreciate the good thoughts and prayers, as do the rest of our family.

I never know what to do in crisis situations except to cook. Since I knew everyone would be sitting in the waiting room for hours on end, I figured I could make some snacks for everyone while we were waiting. I made some of my granola bars, Rice Krispy treats (with whole grain Cheerios mixed in since I ran out of Rice Krispy cereal), and some of my trail mix.

I save my oatmeal containers since they make the perfect container to put snacks in. When I send treats to college students, I use these containers and decorate them. I really love to give gifts in the oatmeal containers. They make a great presentation for anything containing oatmeal like oatmeal cookies, granola bars or anything else that utilizes this ingredient.

There are a variety of ways to decorate oatmeal containers to pretty them up. Here are some examples of cute ways to decorate these:

– Take wallpaper or gift wrap and wrap the container.
– Crinkle a brown paper bag and cut out a circle to go around the top of the container. Use a wide ribbon to secure the paper bag on top.
– Take a hole punch and punch out two holes on the top of the lid. Loop ribbon through the top of the lid and tie a bow on top. You can also loop a gift tag through it and stamp or decorate the tag with well wishes.
– Get your child involved and have them help you decorate the container. Have them draw a picture on Kraft paper or on construction paper and have them write their name on it. This can make the gift even more special for grandparents.
– Have your child cut out pictures of their favorite things and make a collage on the outside of the container.

The containers themselves make a practical solution for transporting treats, since the snacks are less likely to get smashed, and you will have no worries about leaving the container (unlike your favorite Tupperware).

If you know of a family who will be at the hospital, this can be a thoughtful gift to bring along with you. As someone who has been spending a little more time than usual at the hospital, I can attest to the fact that the days are long and the food is bad, not to mention expensive. Save that family some money and provide some healthy snack alternatives. I guarantee they will appreciate the gesture. There might not be much you can do about the situation, but making it more bearable is appreciated by the family members.

Tuck in some snacks for the family, the newspaper, old magazines and a favorite book. These things can help make the days less long for families and they will really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Related Readings:

Chewy Granola Bar Recipe

Teaching My Kid to Say Thank You
How to Make Trail Mix
Sharing the Bounty

Sound Off: What are some other containers that you like to reuse in your house? Do you have any hospital hospitality tips to share?

Published July 31, 2007 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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