Here’s how I determine the quality of a weekend with my kids: the state of the floor inside my car.
Yep, fascinating isn’t it? But telling all the same. The more sand, toy cars, strewn sippy cups and most tellingly of all – food groups - the better I know our weekend has been.
But for the purposes of this article I want to talk about eating in the car. Because in our family, eating in the car is a point of contention.
I’m all for it, my husband on the other hand, is against it
Of the two of us, I have the smaller car and tend to do the bulk of the day to day dropping off.
In addition, I tend to parent from a place of 'peace at all costs'. Which, in layman’s terms basically means I bribe my kids with whatever it takes to get through the more stressful moments.
Be it a packet of Tiny Teddies, a piece of fruit, some popcorn after swimming lessons and most regrettably of all, a Kinder Surprise egg.
All of these factors make me the loser in the messy car competition.
The car is a haven for a busy parent in need of a break
Now at the time, from the safety of the front seat where I am probably trying to listen to a podcast and sip some coffee, I like to think everything is fine. The silence is golden.
After all, the car is a haven for a busy parent in need of a break.
But then we arrive at our destination and as I run back to fling open the doors and the release my little angels from their seats, I begin to regret it.
Listen to Kinderling Conversation:
And the regret is palpable
The squashed-up sandwich now lodged into the base of the car seat.
The amputee Tiny Teddies – a foot here, a tiny hand there.
The Popcorn now squashed under foot.
And the regrettable Kinder Surprise egg remnants now smeared into the cervices of the car seat and the door.
“Why can’t you just EAT the food?” I despair loudly into their cute little faces.
Well, you gave them to us, comes their silent reply.
Next comes the hasty clean-up and a promise (to myself) not to let it happen again.
But that commitment never seems to last very long.
So where does that leave me?
To make better food choices of course! So with that in my mind, here’s a list of foods I really wouldn’t recommend throwing into the backseat.
- Banana. Smelly, lingering, with a tendency to grown brown, dry and curl on the edges.
- Cheese or ham sandwiches (they have a way of hiding under the seat).
- Juice. They’ll spill it.
- Milkshakes (see above).
- Ice cream (Also, see above).
- Hot chips… ugh.
- A squishy packet yoghurt. Yeah you think these suckers are a safe, but THEY ARE NOT. Disarm.
- Sultanas. Small, sugary, squashable. Need I go on?
How do you feel about food in the backseat? What’s the worst offending food? Got any tips and tricks to avoid the inevitable grossness?
Creativity: The secret piece to the happiness puzzle
Creativity isn't about being a tortured artist.
How to get defiant toddlers into car seats safely
Seven steps to get butts in seats.
This baby capsule-carrying hack will change your life (and save your back)
Because lugging a baby capsule sucks.
How to tame toddlers throwing food
Avoid copious amounts of chucking with this advice from One Handed Cooks.
How to limit your child’s chocolate intake
Now that the Easter bunny and the rellies have unloaded all the choccie eggs...
5 tips to minimise toddlers' messy mealtimes
Avoid a food fight with these smart steps.
7 reasons why kids are in love with dinosaurs
Understanding their fascination a little better.
What were your childhood hacks to break your parents' rules?
We all broke the rules as a kid...