including kids grocery shopping

Exposure, exposure, exposure. One of the most influential ways to get your kids to like new foods is by familiarizing them with those foods and getting them involved in the process of feeding your family!

So bring your kids along when you go grocery shopping. It is often much faster to make the trip on your own, but try to include them as often as you can.

To make grocery shopping more fun and engaging for your child, try some of these activities found on a great website called www.inlieuofpreschool.com

Not only are these activities educational for your children and help them to become more familiar with food, they distract from begging for food items that you hadn’t intended on purchasing!

In order to elicit good behaviour from your children while grocery shopping, you might be tempted to promise to reward them with a treat at the checkout. This is not recommended for a couple of reasons:

  1. This is using food as a reward for behaviour. Food is a basic necessity of life. It should never be given or restricted in response to behaviour.
  2. Using food as a reward can undermine a child’s natural ability to self-regulate intake and encourage a child to eat even when they aren’t hungry.
  3. Children may start to associate a feeling with eating a treat. The child feels proud of herself that she obeyed her mom while grocery shopping and is rewarded with a chocolate bar. The may start to associate feeling proud with eating sweets. Whenever she does something well, she may start to think that she “deserves” the treat.

Remember, sweets can still be included as part of the child’s regular meal and snack schedule. They just shouldn’t be tied to any behaviour.

If you want to use a reward system to elicit obedience from children, try giving the child non-food items such as stickers, or extra reading time before bed.

Grocery Store Activities

The next time you go grocery shopping allow your child to choose one type of item on your list. For example, you may have fruit for taking to school on the list. Allow your child to choose which fruit she likes. Or maybe you have cheese on the list. Your child can choose which variety of cheese he would like. 

Check out these other clever ideas for involving your child in the grocery shopping experience! 

Find the list here.