Do You Let Your Children Eat in the Car?


Photo by Peajewel
I once swore I would never let my (future) children eat in the car.

If you have ever been in my car, you are surely laughing. Loudly.

Since most of you haven't, however, let me tell you about it: I open the door to the backseat, and crumbs and snack bar wrappers spill onto the ground. I scoop a handful of bunny crackers out of my 15-month-old daughter's car seat so she doesn't crush them. My 6-year-old asks what snack I brought, and Lila Claire starts shouting, "Cracker, Cracker, yum, yum" over and over, because she knows that's what happens in the car -- you eat.

There are few things more frustrating than being trapped in a car with a screaming toddler, so when sending back a few raisins begets a bit of a reprieve, well, then raisins it is. Promises, be damned.

Over the years I've broken my no-food-in-the-car promise so many times I don't even try anymore. The pantry is my last stop before we hop in the car for any trip -- even if it's just down the road to the market.  And now, of course, my children just expect to eat while en route anywhere.

Besides the mess of a car I drive (true confession: the man who detailed it last said it was one of the messiest he's ever cleaned), I hate that I've created this habit. While neither of my children is overweight currently, I can definitely see how all these additional mindless calories could become a problem.

So I'm going to try to slowly break this habit. It will be much easier I'm sure with son, 6, as all I'll have to endure from him is some whining about how he's going to "starve to death." With my daughter, it's going to be a lot tougher (hello toddler temper tantrums!), and I'm not so confident I can do it, but I suppose it's better to put the kibosh on it sooner rather than later -- when I tell her it's time for dinner and she heads out to the garage.

Do you let your toddler eat in the car? Any ideas for putting an end to car snacking?



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Peajewel Peajewel

Take a DVD player with them. You can swap one bad habit for the other. Tee hee -- No really, since we got a vehicle with a DVD player in it, my daughter loves to watch TV in the car. She doesn't watch TV at home normally so I figure the short amount of time we are in the car and she watches it, it really isn't that big of a deal!

yetti26 yetti26

I always take snacks with me, but only a limited amount. I don't see any hard in it. Although I've stopped giving her anything crushable, like crackers or cereal...because that's just a mess that sucks to clean. We also have a portable dvd player that has been a blessing not only in the car but on the plane as well (we travel 3-4 times a year to visit our families who live on either sides of the country). Oh, and I also keep a basket of small toys and books in the car.

Cafe... Cafe Suzanne

The only reason the man who detailed your car said it was the messiest he's ever seen is because he's never seen my car! So many crumbs ...

jeann... jeannesager

My car is a class a disaster! But there are a few things I refuse to let her eat - lollipops especially. Choking does worry me.

Mythi... MythicMMM

Eh, I just give the kid's toys when they are back there. I absolutely refuse to have food in the back seat. Even adults aren't allowed to eat in the back seat. I have nightmares of when I was younger and my brother use to eat in the back seat. The mold from all the food in the crevice started to creep up the upholstery and belt buckles. blech. Never ever ever.

Proud... ProudSingleMum

I have boxes of capri sun in the 'trunk' of my blazer, and sometimes I have snacks. A drink is usually what he wants...rather than a snack...when we are out and about.

Julie... Julieryanevans

MythicMMM -- I think I'm going to have nightmares now!

Pollymom Pollymom

People make a lot of dumb promises before they have kids...LOL

My son gets juice boxes and some snacks like animal cookies, Goldfish, fruit snacks. Obviously a no-no is ice cream or something really gross to clean like that. I don't worry too much about a clean car. It's a gets dirty. I also have blankets and toys in the back seat too. I don't think it's that big of a deal to let it get messy sometimes - as long as it gets cleaned sometimes too. LOL

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