There are people who love doing grocery shopping. Walking in between aisles and sections, choosing goods and supplies to replenish your refrigerators, pantries and toiletries can be very relaxing to some. Of course, minus the long lines and overcrowded places. Some husbands and wives make grocery shopping one of their bonding moments. With the luxury of time, without the hassles and haste, they can plan their next meals together, or what they can munch on while watching their favorite films.
But what if your toddlers are going with you to the supermarket? Kids who are curious about everything that they see. They want to touch and play with every item in the racks. They want to make the grocery a big playground, pushing the cart, jumping, running, bumping or pushing every shopper. Or maybe sometimes they want to get every food that they might like. That sounds exhausting. Being in the same condition, you may not want to do the grocery shopping again.
Many believe that a trip to the grocery shopping with kids and babies can be fun. But how can they do it? Want to know the secrets? Here are 13 different ways to make grocery shopping with kids less torturous.
Grocery shopping strategies
1. Make sure that no one is hungry.
Eat before leaving the house. Or you can eat in the deli store. You can also bring snacks that are not messy to eat. If some stores allow you to bring those foods, you can bring it to calm annoyed kids and pacify them when hungry. These foods are healthier alternatives. I can be as simple as sandwich cuts, biscuits, and fruit slices.
2. Get organized.
You can plan the succeeding days’ menu ahead so that you know what you are going to buy. Prepare your shopping list at home so you can check on supplies that you need to replenish. Use your time wisely. Prolonged time in the grocery may get kids bored or tired. Instead of coming to and fro or going back to grocery aisles and sections, prepare the list of everything that you need to buy. Arrange the list in such a way that items of the same sections are together. There is no time for aimless wandering.
3. Consider proper timing.
Go to a grocery store in the morning for a quiet experience. A time where there are fewer shoppers. That will mean shorter lines minus overcrowding and easier checkout. Also, consider children’s routines. Do not attempt to go to the grocery when it is almost mealtime and naptime, or you can expect tantrums and outbursts since they feel hungry and tired.
4. Consider treats for kids.
There are grocery stores that offer free treats to kids while shopping. These can be cookies or biscuits, candies and even small bread that kids can munch. You can also save some to serve as kids’ reward after a behaved shopping experience.
5. Make it a learning experience.
Let kids select items on your list, especially those that they are familiar with or you can give them grocery items with pictures. Ask them to prepare a toddlers’ shopping list ahead and check if they do it right. Older kids can help you with some jobs like crossing out or reading grocery items, asking for items’ prices and comparing which one is cheaper.
6. Set expectations.
Kids tend to be very playful. And they might do it even inside the store. Siblings may fight or others may throw tantrums. Prepare them with little chats and talk while going to the grocery, even at home or inside the car. You can also tell them what they can expect in the store and ask them to behave. You can promise them treats as rewards.
7. Get your kids, I mean older kids to help you.
If you shop using coupons, you can ask older kids to help you find the items in the store. You can ask them to put the pack of apples in the cart or get the ingredients for your family dinner. Compliment them for being your little helpers. That can be fun and fulfilling for them.
Yes, you heard it right. You can have some grocery games while shopping. As an example, you can ask the kids who can find the word “sale?” You can practice counting like, “give me three healthy things we eat for breakfast” or “put 3 bottles of that shampoo in the cart.” You can also bring your kids’ favorite toy.
Read also: Disinfecting Baby Toys: the Natural Way
9. Handle “I want’s.”
Expect kids to say I want this and I want that. You can ask them questions for them to think and divert their minds. You might say, “If we buy only candies, what can we eat for breakfast? Can you only eat candies in every meal? What can you use to shampoo the hair? Is using candies okay?” Keep him imagining things until the initial desire or craving surpass. But is not bad to give in to your kids’ “I want’s” sometimes. Let him consider it as a treat or a gift for good behavior. Always giving in can make them do it every time you shop and throw tantrums each time they do not get what they like.
10. Let the kids know the order of events.
Kids who are bored inside a section can insist on going to the next. You can tell them, “once we are finished picking vegetables, then we can pick your cereals.” You can even say “when we finished with grocery shopping, we can proceed to buy your shoes.”
11. Laugh and chat.
Make grocery shopping a bonding time for kids. You can share jokes and stories. Make it a happy experience. They can push grocery carts and run, as long as they are not being troublesome to others. Too many restrictions will just make them feel bored and stressed.
12. Take your time.
A relaxed phase while doing the shopping can makes kids feel relaxed too.
13. Explain why you need to do the grocery shopping.
Make the kids understand why you need to go to the grocery store. You can tell them statements like, “Do you want to eat? Where do we get our food?” “Do you use soap when you take a bath? Where do we get it?” “Even grocery shopping doesn’t look fun to you, we have to do it.”
On a final note
Grocery shopping is one bonding moment parents can do with their kids. These 13 ways to make grocery shopping with kids less torturous can make the task less stressful. You can also make grocery shopping as training for kids to run errands and follow directions. It is better for them to learn how to help in doing chores while still young.