There is no denying that grocery shopping, or any type of shopping for that matter can be difficult with kids. But we all need to eat, so grocery shopping is a necessary part of life, no matter how much we don't want to do it. There is the option to go alone, but thats not always possible, and sometimes its good to teach kids that everyday activities can be fun too!
1. Take snacks
Snacks are always a great way to keep kids occupied and happy, and trips to the supermarket are no exception. Take foods that take a while to eat and don't make a mess; something that will keep the kids sitting in the trolley the entire shop if possible.
2. Avoid nap time shopping trips
Depending on your child, shopping during nap time might be asking for trouble. Shopping once kids have had a nap and are relaxed is going to make the whole experience a whole lot easier.
3. Shop when its quiet
If you can help it, its always easier to shop with young kids when the supermarket is quieter. It can be much harder to keep kids calm when there is so much going on around them.
4. Chose supermarkets with toilet facilities nearby
If you have a toddler or pre schooler who is toilet trained or in the process of toilet training, choose a supermarket with toilet facilities close by. A parents room within the shopping complex is a bonus, especially if you have a baby and need access to a change table or feeding room.
5. Adjust your expectations
Don't head into the grocery store with expectations that you will quickly be in and out with no fuss. Shopping doesn't have to be a race. Expect that shopping will take a little longer with young kids in tow, and there will probably be a bit of whining along the way. If you head to the supermarket with a relaxed mindset there is a good chance the shopping trip will go a whole lot smoother.
6. Make shopping a game
Make a game out of shopping and it will make the trip much more enjoyable for everyone. You could play a game of i-spy while walking around the supermarket, or ask kids that are old enough to take the items you need off the shelf and add them to the trolley. Older kids can read the prices on the shelf to work out which product is cheaper, and cross items off the shopping list as you go. It makes kids feel like they are important and part of the shopping process when they are given their own jobs. You can also use it as an opportunity to teach your kids about healthy food choices and nutrition.
7. Shop after a meal
Kids (along with some adults) get cranky when they are hungry, so shopping is never a good idea when it's been a while since the last meal. The best time to shop is soon after a meal when the kids are full and happy.
8. Always have a list
Its extremely hard to think straight while you are trying to keep young kids happy, so write a list of everything you need, plus how many of each item. Its even better if you can write your list in isle order, to avoid having to go backward and forward in the supermarket trying to find items you missed. It also means there is less chance of having to go back to the supermarket the next day because you forgot something.
9. Prepare kids beforehand
In the car on the way to the supermarket, have a little talk with kids that are old enough, letting them know what you will be doing and how you expect them to behave. Something like we are going to do the grocery shopping, you can walk if you are going to walk beside me, otherwise you will be sitting in the trolley.
10. Grocery shop online
If all else fails and shopping in your local supermarket proves to be too difficult, switch to online shopping. You can then shop any time of the day or night and have the groceries delivered to your door.
Do you take your kids grocery shopping with you or do you prefer to do alone?