Picky Eater: On the Road Edition

My toddler, in-laws and I recently drove to South Haven, Michigan, for family vacation. (Yes, the one without my husband.)

While the trip was amazing, and I had prepared well with copious snackage, the trial of feeding a picky eater on the road was a painful one to argue.

And he defended well.

what to pack for long drives with a toddler

We split the drive into two days, so we had lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch to eat external to my house, grandma’s house or daycare where acceptable food is a plenty.

My husband and I stuffed him full of breakfast the morning we left. He shockingly ate all of two eggs, some of my cereal and a yogurt before leaving the house. (I promise we fed him dinner the night before. I can’t promise he ate it.)

We made it to Emporia before we had to stop for a diaper change and all-around bathroom break. He’d already eaten through two applesauce pouches and two cracker packages and was bored with two of my painstakingly prepared road trip toys.

Well, I knew it was going to be a long drive.

For lunch, we stopped at Panera. We tried to feed the toddler mac ‘n cheese — Panera mac ‘n cheese, which is delicious — and he refused it. A couple more applesauce pouches down. More crackers.

picky eater at panera
I have the pickiest eater.

I guess he did eat the bread bones (crusts) of my sandwich. He loves bread bones.

At the hotel, we ordered pizza for dinner. Really good pizza. Grandpa even got the toddler some breadsticks knowing how he likes carbohydrates and food without color or nutrients. Very little dinner was consumed. Instead, applesauce.

The hotel’s continental breakfast was impressive. Eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, Chobani yogurt and a make-your-own waffle bar.

We tried some of each, and he nibbled on half a tiny waffle before we gave up feeding him a food group other than… you guessed it.


He did eat some of a Starbucks blueberry muffin before he started playing with it. Still. It was a muffin.

We stopped at Subway for lunch, and I had given TF up at this point. I tried to feed him some actual Cheetos thinking it’d be similar enough to baby cheese poofs to pass the test. Again, no. Applesauce.

By the time we reached our VRBO, my toddler was hungry, tired and no one had the solution.

So I put him to bed, and he slept for 16 hours.

In the morning, he ate all of one egg, some sausage, most of a banana and tiny chocolate chip muffin.

I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked. He must have been famished from refusing to eat anything but applesauce for two friggin’ days, but jeez kid. Maybe it’s just road trips, but next time I’ll be prepared. Doesn’t want to eat? Neat. Here’s some applesauce.

Maybe I’ll also sneak in some prunes because the resulting constipation of the next day was horrible.

Oh, and he ate a donut. 

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