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Do you take your children to the grocery store? Do you teach them how to shop or keep them busy with cookies, balloons, iPods, or other distractions. Here are a few ways to get your kids involved at the grocery store.
1. Let them have a say in what the family eats. Then help them find the ingredients in the store.
2. Let younger kids hold your shopping list. Let them cross off the item. Even younger children who are learning their ABC’s can do this. Ask them to cross off the word that starts with “O” instead of “oranges”.
3. Let them fill up the produce bags. My 2yo can do this from the comfort of his seat in the cart and thinks he’s such a big guy for helping.
4. Talk about the importance of eating a variety of colors. We should try to eat a rainbow of colors in our fruits/veggies (try to get in all the colors over the course of a week). Also, the deeper the color, the more vitamins and minerals. Think iceberg lettuce vs romaine or white potatoes vs sweet potatoes.
5. Let them have fun watching the lobster tank, checking out the fish eyes on the fish in the seafood counter, sample the meat and cheese from the deli.
6. Talk about the difference between whole grain bread and white bread. If they are old enough not to squish the bread let them hold the two types and see which one is heavier.
7. Let older kids cut out your coupons, hold them, and match them to the items you are buying.
8. Start a new tradition of picking out a new piece of produce or something from the international asile. Take it home and find a way to use it.
9. For older children and teens, talk about reading labels and comparison shopping (even if you don’t always do it, give them the tools to make informed decisions).
10. If you have friend or family member with a food allergy, talk about it, and try to find items that the friend/family member could eat. Explain what would happen if that friend ate something they were allergic to.
11. For older teens, let them plan an entire meal, shop for (including coupons to help them learn how to use them), and cook the meal. Start with once a month and then make it a weekly task. Someone else should do the dishes!
12. Who am I kidding, sometimes they just need that cookie. Go ahead, let them have one!