Do You Let Your Children Eat in the Car?

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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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