The thought of taking your kids with you when grocery shopping can be stressful. It can limit the patience and sanity of most parents, especially when they begin to do temper tantrums while you buy the groceries. But did you know that the grocery store is the perfect place to help kids develop important skills? Yes, it’s true, because a young child can learn planning, time management, completing tasks, and communication in the grocery store.
When given the right conditions, taking a young child to grocery shopping can be productive, educational, and fun. There are lots to see and do at the grocery store, and with the right strategies, both parents and children can enjoy the time they spend grocery shopping. If you have a child and you haven’t brought him or her with you to the grocery store yet, we are going to give you some of the importance of taking a young child grocery shopping. These might make you decide to try bringing your child to the grocery store one day and have a great time.
1. A Young Child Can Learn Numbers and Letters
When you take your child grocery shopping, he or she can learn letters and numbers there. Children will be able to recognize symbols on food packaging, and it is usually one of the kid’s first pre-reading skills. Aside from that, you can also point out interesting signs and symbols to your child while grocery shopping. To keep your child busy and to avoid him or her to throw tantrums because of boredom, you can ask your child to find a letter, number, or picture.
You can also write a shopping list together at home, and then ask your child to check the items off the list as you collect them. When you take your child with you for grocery shopping, he or she will be able to learn that numbers and words are meaningful and useful in the real world.
2. A Young Child Can Practice Social Skills
One of the important things that a young child can learn in the grocery store is social interaction. Children will benefit from seeing, meeting, and interacting with different people. They will learn that people come in all sizes, colors, and they do many interesting things. Aside from that, when you take a young child grocery shopping, you can teach him or her about waiting for your turn, asking for help, being respectful to others, and as well as speaking politely.
3. A Young Child Can Learn About Food
When you take a young child grocery shopping, you are allowing him or her the to see and learn about a wider variety of foods aside from the usual ones present in your kitchen at home. Apart from that, children can also learn about healthy foods, and as well as where foods come from, in the grocery store. When you take your child to the grocery store, make sure that your list contains mostly healthy foods. This will help your child be more familiar with the foods that he or she should eat.
The grocery store can also be the starting point of a young child to learn about meal planning, budgeting, and as well as cooking. So that when they grow up, they will not have a difficult time planning, shopping for, and cooking their own meals from scratch.
4. A Young Child Can Learn About Advertising and Labeling
Taking a young child grocery shopping is also a way for him or her to learn about making healthy choices. You can teach your child how to read a label and compare items in the grocery store. You can show children how you do label reading. For example, when buying things, explain to them what you are looking for in a particular product. Are you looking at how much salt it contains? Are you searching for locally grown produce?
Children will be able to learn these things by watching adults first before they begin to understand themselves. And when they become older, they’ll be able to play an active part in decision making.
5. A Young Child Can Learn About Money
It’s kind of challenging to teach kids about money without any hands-on experience. Therefore, if you want your child to grow up being knowledgeable about handling money, then taking him or her grocery shopping is one of the best ways to start. Children will be able to learn about money in the grocery store when they see their parents buy things, handle money, use bank cards, and more.
If your child is a bit older, you can ask him to help in handing over money, handling change, and as well as asking about how much certain items costs. Hands-on experience is much better compared to just discussing money to them and giving examples.
6. It Is a Fun Experience
Aside from all the importance and benefits we’ve shared, it is also important to take your child grocery shopping with you to simply have fun together. It is your chance to spend time with your child or kids and enjoy their company. It also feels great to watch them learn every time you take them with you.
Things to Consider
Before you take your child with you to the grocery store, here are some of the things you need to do and consider to make the experience more fun, memorable, and educational.
Know when not to take a young child grocery shopping.
Children have different moods, meaning, you cannot always take them with you when you do some grocery shopping. If they are tired, grumpy, or overstimulated, it’s better to just leave them at home. It is also not a good idea to bring children to the supermarket when it is super busy, especially during the holidays.
The same goes for you. Never take your child to the supermarket when you are tired, stressed, in a hurry, or when you have a long list of things to buy. It’s because young ones won’t be able to cope with hours of shopping, and they will just eventually get bored.
Do Some Preparations
Before going to the supermarket, it’s better to make a list at home and know what you need to get. Also, make sure that your child has everything he or she needs to survive grocery shopping, such as a toy, a drink, and a snack. It is also great if you can plan ahead on how you can involve your child in the shopping process.
Set Clear Limitations
Before you leave home, you need to make sure that your child knows how you expect him or her to behave in the supermarket. If you say no treats, it should be no treats, no matter what happens. You can also skip passing through the toys and candy aisle in the grocery store to avoid tantrums.
Taking a young child grocery shopping is not as daunting as you think it is, especially when you have the right strategies. Plus, you are giving your child a chance to learn a lot of things and develop important skills.
Ways to Get Children Involved while Grocery Shopping
Consider activities like having them assist you in taking stock of your kitchen, letting them assist in making a grocery list, asking them what kinds of fruits and vegetables they would like to buy, and letting them choose a recipe they would like to shop for before going to the store to give your kids an engaging and thoughtful shopping experience. You may ask them to hold the list as you put goods in the cart, let them choose a veggie they want to try at home, put the fruits and vegetables in produce bags, and encourage them to name the various produce items while you’re out shopping. You may additionally introduce your child to unfamiliar foods and ask them to describe its color, shape, and texture. You can also ask them to find the foods in the shop, weigh the foods and report the measurements, and assist in bagging items at the registry.
Tips for Parents While Shopping with kids
As most parents are aware, going grocery shopping with kids may occasionally be difficult. For a more fruitful trip to the supermarket, remember these suggestions. Find out if and when the grocery store in your neighborhood gives samples. Your kids will probably be eager to try the samples and new meals. Ask the store whether it offers any instructional materials for kids on nutrition. When shopping, be enthusiastic and upbeat; your kids will probably imitate this behavior. By letting kids know what kinds and how much food you are purchasing, you may establish expectations. For instance, inform them that you won’t be buying many snacks or that you’ll only be buying veggies today. Children occasionally could request foods that are largely composed of processed carbs, excessive sugar, and saturated fats. Allow them to choose one or two snacks to avoid this. Be tolerant for it could take longer than usual to go grocery shopping with children. It is ideal to take kids who have recently eaten and are well-rested to the market. If possible, travel when it is not as busy. Plan by letting kids know what tasks they are in charge of, such choosing the vegetables or bagging the goods. Last but not least, plan ahead of time to avoid feeling rushed and to ensure that kids get the most out of the learning opportunity.
Whether you enjoy going to the store or loathe it, we all know that as parents, grocery shopping is practically a necessity. Why not bring your kids along because food shopping is so important for most families?
Your kids will benefit from grocery shopping since it will provide them the chance to get practical knowledge about food and nutrition. When shopping, kids can learn about different foods by asking questions and smelling, examining, and touching them. Children who assist with grocery shopping are also more likely to eat and assist with meal preparation. Both you as the parent and your kids will benefit from it.