I have had many comments from parents about the trouble involved with taking children to the grocery store. Many say they would rather give up time in the evening when a spouse is home than take active, young children grocery shopping. I only have two active, young children so I can only speak for tips that work well for us. If you have more than two you may need to divide and conquer or adjust my tips to suit your family.
- Establish a plan while still in the car - I like to tell the girls what type of shopping trip we are taking. Will we be purchasing an entire week's worth of groceries or just one item for dinner? It helps them understand the goal.
- Talk about expectations before entering the store - While we are walking in I explain how good girls stay with mamma next to the cart or they must ride inside the cart. They know how I expect them to behave so there is no confusion.
- Engage the child(ren) in the fun sites around the store - Audrey loves to look at new signs, displays, or colorful end caps in our stores. We shop at several local stores and each have different items to engage the mind of a young child.
- Ask for help - If you need to find green apples it is fun to ask your young helpers to look around to see if they can find them. They feel included and you are free to look over the spinach and select the best bunch while they look.
- Let the child(ren) pick which apple to buy - After they locate the apples select two for a young child to pick from or have an older child select one for herself.
- Ask if you should have cauliflower or broccoli with dinner - If you pick two good choices then you will not be disappointed with the selection. We have even picked between regular or purple cauliflower. Choices are good.
- Bring an extra shopping bag for your child(ren) - Audrey and Maurene love to carry the items they picked in small reusable sacks. It solidifies the select they made and gives them a sense of connection to the item.
- Make a game out of looking for items - Audrey is old enough to play 'I Spy' and Maurene is starting to work on colors. Both girls have the opportunity to help me pick out an item and place it in the cart. This is another activity that will keep them busy while you read the ingredient list on a loaf of bread or box of crackers.
- If they are old enough, have them place the items on the conveyor - Maurene still ends up sitting in the cart before the end of nearly every shopping trip. She is young and needs to have more boundaries. But she also loves to be there because she can access the groceries so we can pay for them. Audrey simply asks me for certain items and I give them to her to put on the conveyor.
- Bring stickers or stamps for good helpers - Around back-to-school time I stock up on those 'Good Job!' stickers for times when I would like them to have a reward. It works well for my girls to be reminded that good helpers get stickers when they stray off course.
I have completed many shopping trips with my girls, most, in fact. These are the tips I have found not only help with the purchasing of the foods but also the consumption once the food is returned home. I hope these ideas help and I would love to hear any you have to share.
|These cute little carts don't hold much.|