Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Should Kids Bring Snacks to Church?


My sister has a four year old daughter, and my daughter, Evie is 15 months.  My sister had always brought some snacks to church to keep her daughter busy, and when Evie began to eat solid foods, I followed suit.

Recently, a family member said she thought it a bad idea. One point she made was when do you stop it? (Catholics are called to fast from food for one hour before receiving communion).  She also wondered why the kids can't wait an hour to eat. My sister and I explained it's not that they can't wait, or they're really hungry, we just need them to sit there quietly!

I never saw much harm in it. I guess, for now, unless anyone can change my mind, I'm okay with it. Evie loves her little puffs, she eats them slowly, they don't make a mess, and they keep her entertained. If that keeps us both in the pew longer, rather than moving to the vestibule where I won't have a very focused or prayerful experience, than to me, that makes it worth it.

What do you think? Is it okay, or should we just avoid it altogether?


  1. I have no children so my opinion is not valid. But i do remember going to church with my aunt and 3 little cousins. I remember having bottles when they were really really small but as soon as one of her kids was old enough to talk back and understand, they were expected to sit quietly and participate (sit, stand, knee, sign of peace). If not, my cousins knew that my aunt would bring down the wrath of Thor as soon as we left mass. Oh well, to each his own, do what you feel is right with your own children and I will do the same with mine (although they are currently imaginary )

  2. I think it's okay, but I think it's important to give them a chance to sit quietly. To me that means not offering the snack right away, using it when they start to get antsy. Of course, this thought could change instantly when Ted starts eating food ��

  3. We bring a specific bag to church filled with biblical board books. I always have a snack but try to use it as a last resort. It is tough trying to really concentrate on mass when you have little ones!

    1. I love the idea of having a special bag with different toys that aren't used everyday for church! Might make her sit a LITTLE longer!

    2. We do this too -- and we share. My older kids discreetly pass books and soft toys (don't make noise when dropped) to restless little kids in other pews.

      For us, we either attend Mass after breakfast and the little kids have something filling (those fasting, of course, fast) or we attend in the early evening and have dinner when we get home. Just like our bathroom rule -- except for emergencies like illness, take care of it before or after Mass. Mass isn't so long that that need can't be put off for just a little while. :)

      That's not meant to sound preachy. That's just how our family rolls. :)

  4. Right now, we brings puffs and a cup w/ water and church books (board books w/ prayers, bible stories, the order of the Mass). As soon as my 13 month old can understand "shh" and we need to sit quietly, the puffs will end.

  5. I agree with you guys that generally speaking, once they're old enough to be expected to sit for several minutes straight, then that's what you expect. Right now Evie doesn't even stay engaged with her fAVORITE toy for more than a few minutes. I guess we need to just ride this age out!

  6. My views on this subject have changed 100% since having children of my own. I try my best to both participate and teach my children a holy reverence for the mass. However, some Sundays I walk out of Mass and literally to say, "Wow, that was awful!" We used snacks when the kids were younger, however that soon backfired to the second we sat down in the pew, them expecting to sit and eat the whole time. And when we ran out, meltdown ensued. We are now a "no eating during Mass" family. However, we are still and quite possibly will always be, a "loud and crazy during Mass" family. Lucky to be at a parish that accepts that and doesn't give me too many crazy looks! ;)