Grocery shopping with your kids

Turn grocery shopping with your kids into a way to teach them about healthy eating and introduce new foods.

At some time or another, most parents have taken their kids with them for a grocery shopping trip. Walking through the aisle of your local supermarket, you will see kids of all ages pushing the shopping cart or riding along. Grocery shopping with your kids can be tricky to navigate with so many interesting foods and items all around them. But with these Michigan State University Extension tips, it can be a rewarding experience for everyone.

  • Talk ahead of time about what you expect in the store, how they can help you and what you will be purchasing. If you will allow them to choose one food item, then help them remember they have one item to choose and encourage healthy choices.
  • Give the kids the grocery list to cross items off or to read to you (depending on their age).
  • In the cereal aisle, choose two low sugar cereal options and let the kids choose which they would like. Use this technique with other items as well to reduce potential food fights.
  • In the produce department, let the kids help choose what fruits and vegetables the family will eat for the week. Also, choose a new fruit or vegetable the family has not tried before.
  • Make sure everyone has had a meal or snack before shopping to help avoid those hunger, impulse purchases.
  • Keep the kids interested and engaged by making it a game to find letters or colors as you maneuver through the store.
  • Help the kids identify which foods go in each MyPlate food group as you are filling the cart. Talk about where the foods come from and why they are important for good health.
  • In the juice aisle, find and choose 100 percent juice.
  • Avoid the check-out lane that has candy and unhealthy snacks.

Using simple tips to help prepare everyone for the shopping trip can help make it enjoyable family time for all who are involved.

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