Dashboard Dining Yes or No?

Dashboard dining yes or no? This is a topic of great parental debate: Allow your family to eat in the car, or not?

Different parents have different tolerance levels and different-size families to be considered. If you have only one child, you can probably be more lenient about dashboard dining than if you're chauffeuring a mob.

Yes, it's best if kids don't eat on the road - for the car's interior, their clothes, and our nerves. But real-life schedules aren't always conducive to obeying that rule.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether dashboard dining is right for your family car.

Busy Family Schedules Support Dashboard Dining

That said you know that if you have a 500-mile road trip, you will give the little one anything that will keep him quiet part of the way. 

But as kids get older and easier to shush, some parents start getting strict about eating in the car. It doesn't matter which way you go; just stick with it.

And consider these rules of the road if food is allowed in the car: It has to be of the non-sticky, nonstaining food group. No chocolate (however, if someone forgets this rule, here's how to get chocolate stains out of upholstery), no grape juice, nothing difficult to clean up.

One father I know has banned fish crackers and popcorn from his car because they're difficult to remove once they're (inevitably) ground into the carpet.

Dashboard Dining Yes or No? The Car Cleaning Routine

If your kids eat in the car, vacuum the inside of it weekly. If you don't let the kids eat at the dashboard diner, you can probably get away with vacuuming monthly. 

Clean up spills immediately, using upholstery or carpet cleaner for carpets and fabric seats. Baby wipes come in handy when those spills are on the plastic console between seats.

I've wiped up more tea spills from my own travel mug than any spills from the kids. But the baby wipes work so well you'd never know it.

Each week or at least once a month, clean the dashboard and doors with a damp cloth or the old standby, baby wipes. Use a damp brush for vents and hard-to-reach spots. Then apply a vinyl cleaner and restorer.

Happy travels!


You Might Like These:

  • Tips for mastering motion sickness. Motion sickness is no fun, no matter how old you are. Here are ways to help keep your kids’ tummy contents where they belong.

    Tips For Mastering Motion Sickness

    Tips for mastering motion sickness. Motion sickness is no fun, no matter how old you are. Here are ways to help keep your kids’ tummy contents where they belong.

  • We spend much of our lives in the car as parents. These car organize tips will help ensure we're prepared for any bumps in the road ahead, while keeping things organized and sane (relatively) on the road.

    The Family Car

    We spend much of our lives in the car as parents. These car organize tips will help ensure we're prepared for any bumps in the road ahead, while keeping things organized and sane (relatively) on the road.

  • These car survival kits for families are designed to keep little ones happily occupied  on short errands and long drives.

    Car Survival Kits for Families

    These car survival kits for families are designed to keep little ones happily occupied on short errands and long drives.

  • If you're a parent who wants to do everything you can to ensure your child is safe while riding in a car, these critical car seat safety tips can help.

    Car Seat Safety Tips

    If you're a parent who wants to do everything you can to ensure your child is safe while riding in a car, these critical car seat safety tips can help.

  • We spend much of  lives in the car. Why not make it a peaceful - or at least, not stressful?  It can be done - with these 8 car rules for kids.

    8 Car Rules for Kids

    We spend much of lives in the car. Why not make it a peaceful - or at least, not stressful? It can be done - with these 8 car rules for kids.

  • Got kids? You'll want to make sure you have car insurance that covers all the essential financial bases driving around with little ones can possibly require.

    Car Insurance: Do You Have Enough Coverage?

    Got kids? You'll want to make sure you have car insurance that covers all the essential financial bases driving around with little ones can possibly require.

  • 5 family road trip games. Road trip on your calendar?  Be prepared to keep whining to a minimum and take fun to the max with these 5 cool, crazy-fun family road trip games.

    5 Family Road Trip Games

    5 family road trip games. Road trip on your calendar? Be prepared to keep whining to a minimum and take fun to the max with these 5 cool, crazy-fun family road trip games.

  • These 10 carpool survival tips for drivers can help ensure a successful arrangement for all involved.

    Carpool Survival Tips For Drivers

    These 10 carpool survival tips for drivers can help ensure a successful arrangement for all involved.

  • Family road trips can be a challenge for restless kids and road-weary adults. These tips for family road trips can help  keep the little ones happily occupied on long drives.

    Tips for Family Road Trips

    Family road trips can be a challenge for restless kids and road-weary adults. These tips for family road trips can help keep the little ones happily occupied on long drives.

  • We spend so much time on the road with rambunctious kids, it just makes sense to be prepared for anything life throws our way with a car first aid kit.

    Car first Aid Kit: The Essentials

    We spend so much time on the road with rambunctious kids, it just makes sense to be prepared for anything life throws our way with a car first aid kit.

  • Carpools are very useful arrangements for busy parents. These carpool rules for kids are essential to keep things running smoothly.

    8 Carpool Rules for Kids

    Carpools are very useful arrangements for busy parents. These carpool rules for kids are essential to keep things running smoothly.

  • 10 tips for road trips to help ensure a swift departure and a (mostly) hassle-free trip family drive.

    10 Tips for Road Trips

    10 tips for road trips to help ensure a swift departure and a (mostly) hassle-free trip family drive.



Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.