Although it can be challenging from time to time, experts agree that grocery shopping with kids helps them learn teamwork, organization and other life skills.
Try these tips for succesful shopping
- Plan to shop when children are not tired or hungry.
- Discuss rules before you enter the store. You might say, "Remember to stay close to me.
I need to be able to see you." Have a plan if you get seperated. For example, tell your child,
"If you lose me always go to the lobster tank."
Talk about what you have to buy for healthy meals and snacks, then have the children make a list
of what is needed. Older children can help write the list. Younger children can make a picture list
(either by cutting out pictures from magazines or drawing). Invite your children to write something
they love on the list. Talk to them about what else is on the list and why.
- Keep kids involved! Allow them to pick a few items for school lunches, snacks, etc.
- Give your child a job. Ask her to pick four apples, or match coupons with the items on the shelf. Let her help steer the cart.
- School-age kids can track grocery costs with a calculator. Have them "guess-timate" the total
cost of the shopping trip before you leave the house. and see how close they come!
Work the alphabet. Look for food that begin with letters, sounds, or combinations.In the produce aisle, you can search for
delicious "b" foods like bananas or hunt for a "z" food.
- Reinforce appropriate behavior. Talk with her, play with her, let her make choices. Encourage her to to talk, watch, listen and think.
Winning ways to Grocery Shop with young children, Bulliten #4341, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Reprinted with permission from EatingWell Magazine.