Before kids, grocery shopping was up there with shoe shopping for me. Fun. Social hour. And an escape. Bring two toddlers into the picture and now it’s like completing a triathlon without the time to train and prepare your body for it. While I relish in the trips to the grocery store I can take without Joey and Anthony, I take the trips together in stride and use it as an opportunity to make grocery shopping with toddlers an activity. Call me crazy… but it works most times. So if you’re like me, put one kid in the cart, keep the other by your side, and follow these tips for grocery shopping with small children. Oh and make sure you have a cup of coffee on hand. Or a glass of wine ready when you get home…. You’ll thank me later!
Allow for plenty of time. Grocery shopping with small children is typically not a quick affair. Give yourself plenty of leeway to get the job done.
Involve your kids. From having your toddler count four apples, pick their favorite red fruit or vegetable, or handing them a food item and asking them to place it in the grocery cart, involving your toddler while grocery shopping makes it more fun for everyone!
Let them pick an item. This one is Joey’s favorite, as he gets to pick a new box of cereal every time we go to the grocery store. He also is a fan of Kroger’s Kids Fresh Friends program. Each month kids under the age of 18 get a free fruit or vegetable item! All you have to do is see a produce associate to get your card and see which item is available.
Make a list, and remember to bring it! Figuring out what you need to purchase at home, then making a shopping list is one of the easiest ways to stick within budget and make your grocery store trip most effective. Your powers of concentration may be limited by your child’s needs once your grocery shopping.
Consider Shopping Timing. Weekends are typically busier at our local Kroger. While I can’t stay away from the store all the time, I try to grocery shop mid-morning or early afternoon with the boys. That way I’m not dodging carts and shoppers while trying to chase after Joey!
Set an example. You may not realize it, but you’re serving as a role model when you grocery shop with kids, especially when you stop to chat with them about healthy foods. You are also teaching them what you expect from them in public when you emulate good behavior and manners. So before you grab that bag of potato chips or roll your eyes at the person who cuts you off in the checkout line, remember your toddler is probably watching and taking notes too!
While grocery shopping with toddlers is one of my most exhausting weekly activities, I’m thankful for the staff and store shoppers that nod, smile, and give my boys a simple hello, making them feel welcome and Mom feel less crazy at the store!
Disclaimer: I am proud to partner with the Kroger Co. of Michigan to bring you healthy recipes and science-based nutrition advice. Because of these great partnerships I am able to share delicious and nutritious family-friendly recipes. As always all opinion and ideas are 100% my own.