When I was in elementary school, birthdays were the best because of bright cupcakes and classic Lofthouse sugar cookies. Now, to recreate the joy of eating dessert instead of doing work, I bring food for my friends and to events. Bonding over a delicious chocolate chip cookie or food in general is the greatest experience. If you bring food, it can be the first step in creating a strong relationship because you are fulfilling another's needs without even asking.

So the biggest question then becomes, what are the best foods for different occasions? 

1. Baked Goods

Chocolate chip cookies, tarts, banana bread, quiche, and more—there is a baked good for every occasion. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, make a savory version with cheese or herbs. They are easy to transport and eat on the go which makes them perfect for any event.

#SpoonTip: Make extra dough for cookies and freeze for another day’s use. They even taste better the next time.

2. Charcuterie Boards

Baked brie, smoked gouda, and tangy goat cheese on crispy crackers and topped with fruity jam: an instant game changer. Charcuterie boards are great for parties, events, and basically anywhere bustling with people because they cater to the majority and are customizable.

3. Takeout

For friends or family in need, order takeout from their favorite place. This is a great way to show your support for them if you are not in the same place or can’t make any food for them. In college, sending real meals is the ultimate friendship goal when midterm or finals season begins.

4. Snack Foods

Pita chips and hummus, pretzels, chips and guacamole, the list goes on. Salty snacks are a great food to bring for sporting events and large socials because they are easily shareable and addicting.

5. Fresh Fruit

Fruit is a refreshing, easy food to bring anywhere, but is better for smaller gatherings because fruits can be more expensive and time intensive to prepare. Personally, I prefer to bring Cuties or berries. If you have extra fruits, freeze them and make sorbets.

#SpoonTip: If you are short on time, buy pre-cut fruit.

From gathering berries to breaking bread, trading snacks in middle school to sending food for a loved one’s loss, eating together has always been a shared bonding experience. It symbolizes celebration, mourning, motivation, and mutual respect for others. It is a great way to show that you care for somebody because their innate need for sustenance has been taken care of.

Preparation of food takes time, creativity, and effort, and to see others enjoying it is immensely rewarding. If it’s not the tastiest snack, laugh about it together! It’s the thought that counts. By sharing time with each other we share our lives and become more understanding people—I know I’ve had some deep conversations over a plate. 

Food is culture, tradition, memories, and love all wrapped into a delicious bite. The next time you have an event, whether it’s a friend’s birthday or club social, bring some cookies! It makes life sweeter.