Guest Post: Why You Should Bring Your Kids Grocery Shopping

7:45 PM Posted by Erin



If you've ever spent any time wandering around a grocery store, you know just how boring this outing can be for kids. Like most moms, you probably just avoid the scene entirely and leave the little ones at home, if you can. However, that's not always possible. Besides, there are plenty of good reasons to bring your kids grocery shopping. Going to the grocery store with your children can actually be fun and provide the perfect opportunity to easily teach some important life lessons.

Take it Slow

Of course, you're not going to start by bringing a two year old on a three hour grocery trip. That's a bit much, both for you and your tot. If your child gets used to smaller trips when they are little, they will do much better tagging along for grocery shopping as they get older. Lay down the ground rules ahead of time. If your toddler knows that grocery shopping doesn't mean a free-for-all treat fest, you'll avoid possible tantrums and bigger expectations later.

Let Them Be Helpers

Kids love to feel important! In fact, they live to feel big and special. Taking your kids to the grocery store is an easy way to accomplish this. Even small children, as young as three years old, can pick things off the shelf. Point out what you need, give them the correct quantity and let them load your cart for you. Not only will it give them something important to do, it will keep them too busy to make trouble.

Kids Should Understand Money

It's downright amazing how many kids don't understand money, where it comes from and its value. Tagging on a grocery shopping trip gives kids an idea of what it takes to make it in the real world. When they know what it takes to feed your family, they will learn the importance of working hard for what you get and managing it well. For school age kids, let them plan a meal or two, actually give them a modest budget and let them see how far they can stretch it. If they are raised making these sorts of decisions, going off to college will be a cinch.

Read Those Labels

Obesity is at epidemic levels in this country and nowhere is it worse than among the upcoming generation of kids. Plump is the new normal and the health statistics are painting a pretty sad picture. Most kids have no idea about how to eat a properly balanced diet. Going to the grocery store is the perfect opportunity to slowly let this lesson sink in. Of course, your attitudes are going to make the biggest difference! Picky parents breed picky kids. Eating healthy yourself is the best example. Show your kids how to read nutrition labels and determine calorie content. Compare different products and show them how to determine which is the healthier choice. Let them pick out a new fruit or vegetable that they have never tried. Some great choices that many kids haven't tried, but most kids love, are jicama, pomegranate and kiwis. Fresh berries are also a big hit.

While bringing the little ones to the grocery store can definitely be a drag, there are plenty of reasons to take the time and make the effort to put it on the top of your priority list. If you have more than one child, let them take turns. It won't be too overwhelming for you and they can each have one-on-one parent time, while still learning important life lessons.

This guest article was contributed by Christine Howell who frequently writes about online degrees and college related topics for Online College Guru, a directory of accredited online degrees

1 comments:

  1. Mary A. said...

    I personally let my daughter come sometimes grocery shopping. Her job is to put things in the cart that I tell her too. She sees me keeping track of what we spend while shopping and she calls off how much the item is too make it easier for me.

    I have an award for you at http://mommysmoneycents.blogspot.com/2009/10/my-first-blog-awards.html