The Rat Snack Attack

September 27, 2013   |   26 Comments
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“The playground’s closing!  Time to go home!” the Park Ranger cries.  

“What’s going on?”

“It’s getting dark.   The rats are coming out.”

“Really? Rats?”

“They’ve got sharp teeth and we don’t want any kids trying to pet one.”

“Oh?  They do that?”  (Maybe Mr. Park Ranger just wants to lock up early.)

Then, I spot something scurry in the corner of my eye.  I lean to look under a bench and – should I be surprised? – there’s a rat!  

“They like to eat the leftover snacks.  You know, Cheerios, and that sort of thing,” the park ranger tells me. 


Is it really all that shocking?  It’s Central Park – the playground is 400 feet from the subway.  But I remember the many times my boys – as toddlers – put a fist-full of sand in their mouths.  I think how my older son loves to log-roll across the sandbox and used to shove sand up his shorts.  I remember the line from my son’s potty training book, “All animals eat, so all animals poop!”

How much rat poop have my children eaten?  It is hard to say.  I shouldn’t Google it.  Stop me now.  “rat borne disease symptoms”  Bubonic plague apparently starts like the flu.


Playground Snacks:

  • Nuts (Almonds, Cashews)
  • Cheese (Manchego, Cheddar, Parmesan)
  • Cut Fruit
  • Cut Veg (Carrots, Cucumber, Bell Pepper)
  • Rice Cakes, Crackers, Pretzels, the occasional Bakery Treat


This morning, Andy looked down at his snack and asked, “How big are the rat teeth?” Hmmm… “I want to see a picture!”

Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks about them.



  • Rachel Rabhan
    September 28, 2013 at 1:34 am

    I clicked on the link. I couldn’t help myself.

    • Laura Clark
      September 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      Icky, isn’t it to think about….

  • Julie M.
    September 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Ewwww. Those rats are nasty. We would see them just wandering around the tracks all the time when we were waiting for the subways to come. Your snack looks tasty though.

    • Laura Clark
      September 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      I don’t even mind seeing the little ones anymore. And mice seem totally harmless is comparison.

      • Brea
        October 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm

        I love that the park ranger was so nonchalant about the rats! Of course, if my little guy had heard that, he’d have led us on a rat-hunt. I love your bento boxes! How do the little guys do holding them?

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    September 29, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Wow we live right near a big park too here in Sydney and I wonder if there are lots of rats around there!

    • Laura Clark
      September 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      I’m reading a book called “The World Without Us” about what would happen if humans suddenly just ceased to exist. And while all the other animals would thrive, rats are one of the few that would suffer, since they thrive wherever humans go. Yuck.

  • Eat Good 4 Life
    September 30, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Such great snacks. I need to get some raw almonds. Manchego cheese is my ultimate favorite cheese in the world. Each year I go to Spain I smuggle pounds and pounds of it :-) Luckily they haven’t got me yet!

    • Laura Clark
      September 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Real Manchego! Oh, if only!

  • Barbara @ Barbara Bakes
    September 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Yikes – luckily I haven’t seen any park rats. Looks like the perfect park snacks.

  • Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies
    September 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I could be wrong, but I *think* I learned in some sort of biology class in college that the average rat isn’t actually very dirty? Maybe it’s wishful thinking. I’m just surprised that anyone who worked at the park would come right out and say it!

    • Laura Clark
      September 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      That actually makes me feel better.

  • addie | culicurious
    September 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    omg, I would have died! 😉 Seems like you handled this REALLY well. I also like your snack packs. That would be great for me as an adult as well!

  • Pam
    October 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Why oh why did I click on the link… rat’s teeth are scary!

    I could eat that snack for lunch and be perfectly happy.

  • Joanne
    October 3, 2013 at 7:51 am

    You know, I’ve actually never seen a rat in Central Park. And I spend quite a lot of time there! I would try not to worry about it…if anything, it’s making them stronger!

  • Amy @ Elephant Eats
    October 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    hahaha, ewww! I’ve seen rats on the streets here in NY only a handful of times, but I do often see them in the subway. I’m such a germaphobe, and I sincerely hope I don’t become the mom that wipes her kids hands with antibacterial every 3 seconds. Kids need to encounter dirty things to keep up their immune systems….and healthy snacks like this! Looks like a tasty treat :)

  • Sandra
    October 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    oooo ewww ! 😀 Rats, wrrrrrr… It’s true kids need to encounter dirty things to keep up their immune systems.

    Snacks look great! Love your Blog!!!!!!!!!

  • Kristi Campbell
    October 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    YIKES. I am terrified of rats and bugs. And snakes. Birds sortof freak me out too. But rats? UGH I try to just think about how there is so much more out there that we can’t control. Like the fact we probably accidentally swallow spiders while we sleep and stuff. (*sorry*)

  • Nikki
    October 8, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Well, at least your family is increasing the health of the rat population! That is, if they are lucky enough to get a nibble of your snacks, they look delish! It’s hard to believe that there is such a rat problem in a dynamic, metro area. Makes me wonder what we’ve got lying around in the shadows of our little teeny town…

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker
    October 8, 2013 at 1:07 am

    Ick! I hate rodents… but love the healthy playground snacks!

  • Martha
    October 8, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Oh, how I miss living in New York! Boston rats have similarly large teeth, but they are missing that “come out while the kids are still playing” attitude.

    Love your blog!

  • Melanie@HappyBeingHealthy
    October 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Yikes! Those rats sounds crazy….I still <3 NYC so much though!! I love all the pics of your snacks….healthy AND beautiful!

  • Sarah
    October 9, 2013 at 7:30 am

    That would definitely freak me out! My skin is crawling over here…

  • Charlotte Anne
    October 13, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Hello Laura!

    Thank you for dropping at my site. Returning the love here! :)

    I really don’t like the rodents. But I’m digging those snacks though.

    BTW, Handsome kid you have. :)

    Charlotte Anne

  • Rosa
    October 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Healthy snacks! I love rodents… 😉



  • Eat Good 4 Life
    November 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    This looks awesome. I love making granola. I will share this recipe on my FB page tomorrow. I love so many of your recipes :-) Great pictures too especially of your little ones!!

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