Although shopping at the grocery store with small children can be quite a challenge, it can also be an important tool in teaching kids life skills and good nutritional practices.  Children can learn the different food groups, how to choose fresh fruits and vegetables, how to create a balanced meal, and how to follow a budget.  It can also be a lot of fun! 

By looking for creative ways to involve children at the grocery store, you can make the time nurturing and interesting rather than frustrating.

Follow these tips to help lessen the stress at your next shopping trip:

  • Plan ahead—planning meals in advance and writing out a grocery list can save both your time and your sanity.
  • Focus on whole foods—processed foods are generally less nutritious and more expensive than whole foods.  Look for fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, meats, fish and whole grains such as oatmeal.
  • Don’t shop when hungry—everyone will be in a better mood, plus, you will be less likely to over-purchase junk food when you have a full belly.
  • Make it fun—There are lots of games you can invent to make shopping an adventure.  For example:
    • Ask your child to pick a new fruit or vegetable that you’ve never tried before, and try it at home
    • Let them weigh fruits and veggies on the scales provided.  See if they can guess how much it will weigh beforehand
    • Create a picture “list” for your child by cutting pictures from newspaper ads.  Your child can help you find the items.