Grocery Shopping With Young Kids
Tips for taking tots and preschoolers grocery shopping.
10 Simple Strategies: Grocery Shopping With Kids
OK, you're sold on the idea of grocery shopping with your young children.
Here are 10 tips to make it easier.
- Consider Timing. There may be no perfect time to shop with a
rambunctious 3-year-old or a toddler who is teething, but some times are better
than others. When possible, go grocery shopping with a well-rested
- Allow Plenty of Time. Grocery shopping with small children is
typically not a quick affair. Give yourself plenty of leeway to get the job
- Focus on the Familiar. Grocery stores are noisy, bustling places
that may overwhelm a young child. Bring along a favorite toy, blanket, or book
from home to make them feel more secure.
- Have Realistic Expectations. Small children tire easily. An
hour-long foray into the grocery store may be enough. Don't push it by
trying to do all of your errands at once.
- Set Limits. Begging for treats at the store can really get on your
nerves. Make it clear when grocery shopping with your kids what will happen
once you're in the store. Perhaps allow them to choose a small item to try at
home, no questions asked. No matter what, stick to your guns to minimize
whining next time.
- Involve Your Kids. Kids love to feel a part of whatever is
happening. The more you give kids to do and think about, the easier and more
fun grocery shopping is for everyone. Try these:
- Request your child be your special helper in the store. Point out pictures
of produce or other items you need in the store flyer and help kinds hunt for
- Ask your child to choose four apples, or four green apples, or four round
- Play "I spy something blue (or round, or square)," and see if they
can figure out what you're looking at.
- Try Not to Think Too Much. Figure out what you need to purchase at
home, then make a list. Your powers of concentration may be limited by your
child's needs once you're grocery shopping.
- Reward Good Behavior. You expect your toddler or preschooler to
behave in public, but doing so in a grocery store may prove particularly taxing
because it's such a stimulating environment. Let kids know how good they were
in the store by taking them to the park later, or reading them a story when you
get home. Avoid using food as a reward for good behavior, however.
- Be Prepared to Leave. Young children are fickle. You may be gung-ho
to get two weeks worth of grocery shopping done, but 10 minutes into the trip,
it's clear your little one wants out.
- Stay Safe. An American Academy of Pediatrics study revealed that
more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 were treated in emergency rooms in
2005 for injuries related to shopping carts. Falls from carts topped the list
of trauma. Cart tip-overs, becoming trapped by a cart, and being run over by a
cart were injurious to young kids, too. Never let kids stand up in the
cart and don't let them ride on the front, back, or side. Children should not
push carts by themselves. When seated, use a seat strap to keep kids
secure. Little ones who are on foot should hang on gently to the cart while you
slowly push it. The first time or two you go grocery shopping with your kids
you may leave frazzled, with fewer groceries than you went in for. Yet
remember, this is a skill you're both developing. Like teaching your tot
to get back on his or her bike, don't be afraid to try, try again!