Do you remember those shopping trips with your mom or dad when you were younger? How you loved to ride in the shopping cart to get covered with food. Or the moment when you tried to sneak that favorite chocolate cereal when they had their backs turned?
If you have then you might begin to understand how a simple shopping trip can turn into a harrowing adventure; one that some parents wish to be without. However, if shopping is approached as a game instead of as a chore it can be fun, and educational, for both child and parent.
Here are some quick tips to get you in and out without all the fuss:
1.) Prepare a list ahead of time
Writing it down helps keep you organized and prevents you from buying things that are unhealthful. Start with fruits/vegetables and go from there. Your children can help with this process. Ask them what is one meal they want to have for that week.
2.) Turn shopping into a Game
Playing scavenger hunt with the foods on the shopping list gives children the opportunity to learn about what they eat. This can help generate excitement and make them more likely to eat what is on their plate! Especially, if they help you prepare dinner afterwards with that red vegetable they found.
3.) Explain health benefits of foods chosen
Explaining health benefits of the foods you buy to your child will help connect good nutrition to their performance in school and at play. Putting those benefits into words they can understand is even better. For example, you could say that blueberries will help support their memory for that big exam. Or whole grains will give them energy for playing.
4.) Choose healthful snacks that Kids love
Choosing snacks for your child that they love, but that is also good for them, will engage their interest in health as well as in shopping.
5.) Laminate a copy of the list
Having children check off the foods you buy will hold their attention as you navigate the aisles and give them something fun to do.
Dare I say it? Happy shopping!
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/planning-and-prep/smart-shopping/youre-kidding