Sneaky Snacking 101

The Navy Seals may carry out covert operations that overthrow evil ones, but I ate a Moon Pie in the presence of my toddler, and I didn’t get caught! Of the two, I am pretty sure my feat was more impressive. The following is a step-by-step guide for eating your treats without having to share.

 1) Choose your snack carefully. There are a few questions to ask yourself.

 How noisy is the wrapper?  –  If it’s Sun Chips you’re after, you might as well forget it. Unless your child is wearing industrial grade hearing protection, you’re going to have to wait on that snack until after they go to bed. Or leave for college. Choose a snack with a low to medium decibel level.

 Is this snack portable?  – you need a snack that can be held in one hand and will maintain is integrity in a pocket. Tiny pieces will be worn and not eaten, after all. Moon Pies are the perfect snack, in my most humble opinion.

 Is it smelly? It does you no good to go to the effort to sneak a snack if your child can smell it from two blocks away. Again, Moon Pies pass the litmus test here.

Is it unusually crunchy? Remember, your aim is for minimal noise during consumption. Need I add that Moon Pies work well here? Because they do. So I will.

They work in almost every snacking situation. For real.

2)  Distract. Send child on a particularly noisy mission, say brushing their teeth or leaf-blowing the lawn. While they are out of hearing range, quickly remove the wrapper. Speed is of the essence. Small children are psychic when it comes to forbidden treats.

 3) Choose clothing with deep, loose pockets. As soon as the wrapper comes off, you will need to slide the snack into your left pocket***, and you want it to be well-disguised. Skinny jeans are not your friend here. Although if you’re wearing skinny jeans, sneaky snacking is probably not your thing, and I cannot be your friend, either. Sorry. Those are the breaks.

4)  Location, location, location.  Get in the car. Vehicles are where I have the greatest sneaky-snacking success. Make up a reason for a trip if you have to. And walk carefully, or heaven’s sake! Getting to the car quickly is useless if your snack is but a crumble when you get there. It helps to swing the snack-side leg wide as you walk. If your child asks you about it, tell them it’s a war-wound. Or that you have to poop.

 5) Situate their carseat behind your own. If it’s not there currently, put it there! Unless your child is completely unobservant, they will see what you are doing. And there’s no need to go to these lengths if you’re planning to get busted.

6) After you have secured child in their seat, remove snack from pocket. This move will require some practice, but it is worth it. You will turn your back to your child. Remove the treat from your pocket as you turn back toward the car, using your body to shield the goody from sight. Open the car door with your right hand, get in the seat, and drop the goods between your knees. When the car is in motion, you will steer with your left hand and eat with your right.

7) Enjoy. As much as you can, knowing that your precious passenger would give you a big hug if only you’d share a tasty little bite. Fortunately, Moon Pies also come in snack size, perfect for sharing.

*** Author’s note: WordPress encourages us to be inclusive of international readers. If you drive on the left side of the road, use your right pocket.

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35 thoughts on “Sneaky Snacking 101

  1. Oh, that brought back memories of when the twins were small, and I didn`t want to get caught breaking my own healthy eating rules. (no really it`s an apple slice you saw, an optical illusion made it look like chocolate, really you little silly, you saw chocolate?) Things get easier, and you are forced into lying less and less which helps with the overwhelming guilt of it all. Before you know it they won`t be caught dead in the car with you, and at home they will spend enormous amounts of time in their rooms, and avoiding eye contact with you. At this point you are just dealing with finding more and more creative hiding places for your snacks. Up high won`t work forever. Peace by with you. It`s a long haul but you`ll make it, and God knows you`re going to miss it. 🙂

    • Oh, this may be cruel, but I now have a hankering for chocolate, so I`m off to eat it standing bold as brass in the middle of the kitchen. I think I might even ring the dinner bell, and flick the lights on and off. You have reminded me of joy I had begun to take for granted.

  2. Put on a loud song they like to dance to, and hide in another room while you scarf it down and they’re distracted by the funky fresh beats.

  3. True. You have to be super sneaky about snacks. And I am. Remember when Sun Chips tried that super noisy Earth-friendly bag? You couldn’t even open it at night without waking the whole house. And my kids always smell sweet treats on my breath. Whenever I get caught, I just say, “Well, did you all of eat your vegetables without fussing? Because you can only have treats if you did.” Gets them every time. Of course, no one ever asks me. 😉

  4. I have to apply these methods just having my husband around. He might not hear me calling him from 10 feet away, but all I have to do is ever so slightly crinkle a snack food wrapper and he comes running like Pavlov’s dog.

  5. Great advice. You can extend this to the family pooch, too. My dog can hear a chip bag rattle all the way across the house. If I give him some Doritos, the kids are not far behind. I think kids and dogs have deal worked out.

  6. m&m’s are perfect for this. I hide my main stash, but take afew out each day and put those behind my big ole mixer – I can reach back & pop afew every so often . Also, if the kids walk in, you dont have to chew an m&m !

  7. I wonder if Moon Pies actually are perfect for this, or if you’ve just mastered the stealth techniques necessary just by repetiotion with that one product…

  8. You could try putting your sealed snacks in the toilet tank like a drunk with his booze. Then you just tell your tot that you’re potty training them by showing them that you are going off to the bathroom (again), because YOU choose not to poop in your pants. Quick lock the door, make lots of noise while you are lifting the tank lid and unwrapping the goody, because you know they’re listening at the door. Hopefully sobbing, actually, then you don’t have to make extra noise to cover up your covert op. It saves gas (from driving around, only.)

  9. “Skinny jeans are not your friend here. Although if you’re wearing skinny jeans, sneaky snacking is probably not your thing, and I cannot be your friend, either. Sorry. Those are the breaks.”
    This essay is so funny, and the above are my favorite lines. What mother isn’t a sneaky snacker? (Oh, yeah. Right. I almost forgot about those mothers who wear skinny jeans.)

  10. I kept wondering what these Moon Pies were you were talking about – in Canada we call them Wagon Wheels, no idea why. My best sneaky snacking took place when my daughter was in her bath or the shower.

  11. I substituted “dog” for “child” and the techniques you describe are just as useful! But still more challenging with dogs because their hearing and sense of smell is so much more acute. I usually have to wait till they go outside to sneak my snacks.

  12. Hmmm. I have to hide snacks from my husband? Any tips? And I can’t use Moon Pies, either. Because I was traumatized in kindergarten when I couldn’t eat my northern Moon Pie — A Scooter Pie, fast enough. I got yelled at by the teacher each and every day. It set me up for lifelong failure. 😦

  13. This was fantastic! I deal with this all the time and have become quite good at it — however, I have definitely learned a few strategies here I wasn’t already executing.

    Would you believe I’ve never had a moon pie? I’ve never even seen one before. Do I live on the wrong side of the country or something?

    Now I need your help in sneaking off other things. There are these fancy antique hair pins that my daughter got from my mother-in-law. I knew she’d lose them in two days flat. So I’ve taken to wearing them to work. And I get busted every time. Lots of tears involved. She sees them when I’m sitting in front of her in the car.

  14. That is very similar to my own procedure. I would only add that if you are caught, there are two things you can tell your kids, depending on how perceptive they are:

    1) It’s spicy. You won’t like it.

    2) It’s medicine.

    Yes, I know this is an outright lie. BUT – anything to protect the Mission.

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