What words come to mind when you think of grocery shopping with your children? Chaos? Distraction? Battles? Exhausting?
I think most parents would agree that all of these words could be applicable at points. Having said that, taking your kids grocery shopping is one of the best things you can do for them on so many levels. Having said that, there are some tips I would like to share with you to help make th experience the least stressful and most beneficial possible. This is not to say that you will not leave the store feeling frazzled…I often do. But I am still always glad they came.
- Tell your child(ren) how excited you are that they will be with you to buy food for the family. You can describe how important this is and how helpful they are to do it with you. Children love to feel important!
- Before going to then store talk to your child(ren) about making a list. Maybe ask if they have any requests. Aim to keep your list minimal so that you are not in the store for too long. Be reasonable to the attention span of your child. This will keep it a positive experience for both/all of you.
- Let your child(ren) know before heading into the store that there will be no “treats” purchased at any time on this shopping trip. And flow though on this every time. As soon as you give in, it becomes a challenge every single time!
- Ask your child(ren) to each choose a fruit or vegetable that they would like to choose for the family to eat. Buy enough of each chosen food for the whole family to enjoy and when it comes time to serve it you can make a big deal about the fact that ______ chose it. This again reinforces that they are important.
- Try to shop early in the day or after nap and take a healthy snack along with you. If your child(ren) is/are hungry or tired they are more likely to act out or be cranky.
- Stay focussed on your child(ren) as much as possible. I find that if I am looking at my phone, talking to a friend that I happen to run into, or investigating a new food the chaos level escalates.
Well these are some strategies that work for me. Hopefully they help you out with your next shopping trip with your minis. If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them! Feel free to comment below!
Until next time….stay healthy!