Grocery Shopping with the Kids

by Maria on February 11, 2013


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Some of you may shop regularly with your kids. This worked pretty well for me until the kids grew out of the cart seats. Once they were free to walk, or should I say run, shopping got a little harder, especially when I brought both boys to the store together. So these days I usually shop alone, but every now and then, I need to do a full grocery run with kids. Fortunately, with a little planning, shopping can actually be a fun activity!

A method that works well for me is to give each of my kids their own shopping list. Henrik who is not reading yet gets one with words and pictures, while Elliott gets a slightly longer list of only written items. I write them out on cardstock so that they are sturdy enough to hold up to their little grips. The kids love getting their own list. The only challenge is that I usually have my own list too, and sometimes they are a little quicker than I am and have to “pause for a while” as I say, before going to the next section of the store.

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Here are a few other suggestions that work well for me when I take my kids shopping:

  • Try to shop at a time when the grocery store is not crowded.
  • Try to shop when everyone is in a good mood and well rested.
  • To avoid tantrums, give your child permission to pick out one food of their own that is on their own. My kids both have a sweet tooth, so for them this usually means something such as ice cream or chocolate granola bars. The exception to this is fruits and vegetables, if there is a new fruit or vegetable they want to try, of course I will most likely say yes!
  • If you can, pick a store that provides kids shopping carts. This gives the kids a sense of independence and importance, and of course makes shopping more fun. Just be sure to go over some ground rules first, for instance no running or spinning with the carts (maybe this is just an issue if you have boys)!
  • Go over the ground rules before you go in the store (e.g., no running, stay with mom).
  • Finally, make sure their little bellies—and yours too—are well fed before you start shopping.

Do you shop with the kids? What works for you?



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