• Email
  • Pin It

No Food In The Car


Contributed by:



21 comments | Leave Comment


It’s a rule.  A real rule.  One we never break.  Mostly cause it’s a dad rule.

There’s always one (disciplinarian) in the family.  In this family it’s Hubby.  After selling our dirty-like-a-dumpster minivan Hubby instituted the no eating in the car rule when we got our new wheels.

The first time my then 1 year old cried all the way home from nursery as I held her snack hostage in the front seat was absolute torture.  That 2 minute and 20 second ride felt like an eternity and I was silently mad at Hubby and his over the top rule.  In fact I tried to give her the snack (cause she was a baby!) but all the other kids were screaming “NO!  Abba doesn’t let eating in the car!”  I couldn’t very well openly defy him and his rule.  Could I?

I would be even harder pressed to obey the rule (which really is like family law) if not for how nice and clean and beautiful smelling our year-old-but-feels-like-new minivan is.  And the immediate gratification every time I enter the car (which is like 10 times a day, at least) makes me think some rules are not made to be broken.  And the toddler tears only lasted a few trips.  Now she actually hands me the snack with a smile as she settles into her car seat, knowing she will get it back in exactly 2 minutes and 20 seconds.  When she gets home she pulls out her toddler booster high chair thingy climbs into it and waits for someone to attach her tray so she can eat.  (Cause that’s also a rule, we don’t eat walking around the house).  It’s all so civilized really.

This (sometimes) civilized no (food) mess life of ours reminds me that rules are good.  But I already told you I am not the natural born disciplinarian.  So when Hubby traveled to NY for 4 days he hung a huge sign that said “REMEMBER: There is NO!!!!! eating in the car.”  Now of course I remembered, how could I forget?  But you see in marriage (as with all relationships) one has to read between the lines.  Translation: “JAMIE GELLER, MOMMY, YEAH YOU! need to enforce this rule even in my absence”.

So on the mornings we were running late and the kids took breakfast in a bag (more on that in a minute) I dutifully said “Remember Abba doesn’t let eating in the car.” (Yes I know that’s grammatically incorrect but sometimes you just gots to speak to the kids in their language).  And guess what, that wasn’t good enough for Hubby!  He wanted to know why I had to blame him for the rule, make him the bad guy.  “It’s not fair” he said.  I said I invoked his name for the sake of adherence to the rule, so the kiddies would actually listen to me.  But if forced to dig down deep I actually most probably used his name in vain because if it were up to moi there would be no such rule.  WE would ALL be eating in an embarrassingly dirty car.

In our marriage, I love to jokingly take credit for Hubby’s successful ideas. Especially the ones I fought so hard against. When I finally come around to seeing the genius in his ideas, I say things like “see I told you so” (Hubby just loves when I say “I told you so”) or “thank G-d I (me, me, me, it’s all about me!) had the idea”. The first time I did it he was stunned, totally taken aback, “WHAT?!!!! YOU?????” he exclaimed. Now it’s so commonplace he usually just rolls his eyes, or giggles. Finally just the other day he gave into my obsession with being the hatcher of all good ideas in this household and said “when you’re right, you’re right!” And boy was I right on this one!

And if you have to give the kids breakfast in a bag try these homemade Sweet Peanut Butter Cereal Bars.

So tell me, do you all eat in the car?


Posted in

About Jamie Geller


Jamie Geller is the only best-selling cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen – not because she doesn’t love food – but because she has tons to do. As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now the "Queen of Kosher" (CBS) and the "Jewish Rachael Ray" (New York Times), she's the creative force behind JoyofKosher.com and "Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller" magazine . Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their five busy kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen - quickly. Check out her new book, "Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes."




21 Responses to No Food In The Car

  1. avatar says: chaya

    45 min to school=breakfast and late afternoon snack eaten in the van.

  2. avatar says: Stefanie

    Yes, I definitely eat in the car. Since I am the one driving it is not easy. If it is something hand held I will eat while driving. A bad thing to do, I know. It it is not hand held I wait to get home. I do drink a lot of iced coffee’s though. Those cups are what litter my car. I also throw my school stuff in the backseat.

    • I have a minivan (obviously) and there is no partition btwn the console and the drivers brake/pedal area – so I always used to get nervous that water bottles or cups would roll under the gas or brake pedals.

  3. avatar says: Ruchie

    If there’s no food in the car, there’s no driving anywhere!!! It’s what keeps the kids quiet and occupied! And then I clean up right away so the mess doesn’t accumulate.

  4. avatar says: Paurian

    Could you please elaborate the last bit of your post? It sounds like you’re saying “If it were up to me, we’d be eating in a dirty car … then “Finally just the other day [Hubby] gave in.” But it also sounds tongue-in-cheek as if you’re joking.

    • oh hey there sorry that wasn’t clear – yes it was meant to be tongue and cheek. Basically I am not strong enough to implement the rule on my own so if it were entirely up to me we would all be eating (not just snacks but sometimes a meal!) in a dirty car (cause I am not much of a cleaner either :-) . The “Finally just the other day…” line was my (obviously poor attempt at sarcasm and humor) way of trying to take credit for Hubby’s rule.

  5. My car always smells either like a garbage truck or a restaurant, depending on how fresh the food is. And there are of course the leftover banana peels and granola bar crumbs. And I am the grandmother! so you’d think I was past this. Plus, I keep popcorn in the car because if I bring it into the house I can’t stop eating it. So there is popcorn all over the car. Oh well, maybe in another life. I need your husband to discipline me.

  6. avatar says: Sima

    Jamie this rule is fantastic you will be thrilled when you look back and see how your kids dont even miss it anymore. I am a neat freak but my mom always packed snacks like fruit cheese and pretzels juice boxes everywhere we went so thats how i did it with my kids, to the point that even if they just ate a meal they asked for food as soon as we got in the car. Anyway like you i just got a new minivan and it was right before pesach. Hubby said no eating in car- was great excuse cuz pesach! The kids really understood and even now after we have kept it up. I’m thrilled because I was vacuuming the car and wiping all surfaces once a month, plus picking up all the garbage daily. Anyways my mom is horrified because better to give a kvetchy kid a pretzel than hear whining but I’m so happy to stick to the rule. The exception is if someone’s starving I’ll let them eat something not crummy. My 2 yr old asks me as soon as she sees we are leaving the house – What can I bring that’s not crummy? I say WATER! Also btw i read this incredible book you’d love it called French Kids Eat everything. It’s about this American mom who moves to France and has to adapt to french attitudes about eating etc. Its hilarious. But the main point is french kids eat 3 meals a day they never snack and they never ever eat in the car. French cars DO NOT EVEN HAVE CUPHOLDERS!!! Like once she was in grocery and her kid was whining so she opened a package of pretzels to pacify the baby and all the Parisians were horrified and started yelling at her in French lol. Its a must read! Weill change the way you look at snacking meals kids “pickiness” etc
    In France the PUBLIC schools serve things like roast beef salmon carrot and radish salad mesclun beets etc for snack and every kid eats it up… Obv they are doing something right over there. Anyways thanks for your awesome magazine website etc

    • SIMA!!!!!!!!!!! I LUHUVE this comment! I remember hearing about this book — we are published by the same imprint and I am almost sure we have the same editor (I just checked). You have now further sparked my interest – I’d like to check it out. Your 2yr old is so cute with the crummy Q and your WATER answer is even cuter. BTW my mom is ALSO horrified when my kids cry – she will pacify them with anything (food, SUGAR, gifts, piggyback rides, NO bedtime – ANYTHING)to make them stop crying.

  7. avatar says: Miriam

    I wish I could have that rule! We don’t do a lot of eating in the car, but sometimes it is necessary like if we travel a far distance, or rushing to get to a carpool….I also wish I was able to better inforce the eating at the table rule. Such a challenge with the younger ones especially B”H!

    • Miriam I totally know!!!! The hardest part is enforcing the rule. Anyone can “make the rule” but it’s all about the follow thru – and without Hubby looking over my shoulder I would have no follow thru, that I am sure of!

  8. avatar says: Aviva

    Haha I see a lot of similarities there to our household. We do allow eating in the car, and of course it is messy. But it’s fun! And keeps the kids quiet (for 5 minutes till they demand their next snack). What about eating on the couch? I could not imagine living in a household where you can’t do that. We don’t let the kids eat there, but we sure do!

    • LOL – ok so I am a eat-cereal-WITH-MILK-IN BED!-kinda-gal. So the couch, to me, is just another place to sit and eat! But NO in our house we only let the kids eat in the kitchen — no walking around with food either. Hubby trusts me a little more than the kids (with food around the house) but really just a little. I mainly eat in my office (and make a mess!) but it’s MY space so I can get away with it. And last time I almost spilled milk all over the bed he almost cried.

  9. avatar says: Ita

    My kids are in college now, but we never had that rule and still don’t. Because you know who the biggest violator would be? Himself. He buys a snack and a drink, eats in the car, puts the trash in the plastic shopping bag, ties up the top and… leaves it on the front passenger side floor or the back of the SUV until I throw it away. The kids and I always take our trash with us when we leave.

    • LOL LOL LOL!!!!!!!!!!! Oy (I know it’s not LOL for you, sorry) – the one thing I assumed was the man’s job when I first got married was taking out the trash. But guess what I learned, it’s everyone’s job… maybe someone should tell him? :-)

  10. B”H
    One less cleaning job for Pesach! :)

  11. avatar says: Margaret

    What a good idea, and that both you and your hubby enforce it to the point the kids do it automatically! Good on you!

Leave a Reply

Log in or Join For Free or leave a reply as a guest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  Notify me of follow-up comments by email