Are you taking the kids shopping today? Shopping with your kids can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. In a time where people are reaching for their cookware versus dining out, grocery shopping and eating at home have become more important then ever. But shopping with kids can be fraught, and the reality of it is that most of us don’t have the luxury of leaving the kids behind when we shop. Lisa Burzdak has provided some simple tips that if executed correctly will lead to a peaceful and even fun shopping trip for everyone, and a delicious recipe that even the youngest kids will be able to help with.
1. The days of flying by the seat of your pants are over. You can no longer slowly walk through the aisles while dreaming up wonderful recipes in your head. The number one thing is being prepared, come with a list of all meals you will cook that week. Depending on the age of your children, take items from your list and give them their own list. Things that tend to be lower on the shelves, easy to spot and most importantly not breakable are best. This makes them feel involved and will prevent them from grabbing random items off the shelves and wondering around. You can even propose it as a scavenger hunt if having their own list doesn’t interest them. If they are old enough, have them pick out one of the meals and compile their own list, and even search for coupons.
2. Timing is everything. You have enough to think about without pushing through crowds or waiting in never ending lines. Go early in the morning. This is beneficial for two reasons. The store will be less crowded and all the kids will be fed and rested, so no risk of cranky hungry kids.
3. Prepare them on the way to the supermarket with the behaviour that is expected. One of my favorites is having the shopping cart be the locomotive and the kids each be a wagon. They need to stay together and walk in single file as a train would, holding onto each other. This is a great way to keep them from wondering off into oncoming shoppers.
4. Within each aisle (or train stop) you can have older children help to pick out the cheaper choice of certain items. You can even get in some maths practice by having them tell you how much you saved. For the younger ones you can have them find the red box with yellow writing or an item that will be easily identified by them with colours or characteristics. Have them help you pick out the fruits and vegetables, let them decide which colour apples they want, etc. Involving them will make them feel special and keep them from getting distracted and causing trouble.
5. Be prepared with healthy snacks from the house for the unavoidable “Mum, can I have this?” question. This will prevent you from buying unnecessary items. If they are hungry, they can snack on what you brought for a snack. You can even have them decide before leaving the house what snack they want to bring.
6. Then there is the talking game, which is my favourite. Explain to them why you are buying certain items, A is healthier then B because. Or when buying hamburgers ask them what animal beef comes from and when picking out vegetables ask them if apples grow on trees or in the ground. This is a great ways to keep them occupied.
These tips will get everyone through the shopping trip with smiles on their faces. As an added bonus, I’ve included a great summer recipe below that is kid friendly. This is a great recipe that your children can be involved in from beginning to end, from the shopping list, to the shopping to the actual cooking and of course the enjoying! It’s simple too!
Strawberry Shortcake for Six
2 pints fresh strawberries
¼ cup sugar
6 Plain scones or 1 Sponge Cake
1.) Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside. You or an older child will slice while a younger child can stir up the mixture.
2.) Have the children break apart the sponge cake into 6 sections and arrange on plates or arrange the 6 scones on individual plates.
3.) Top each proportion of scone/sponge cake with Strawberry and sugar mixture.
4.) Finish with whipped topping for a light summer dessert and enjoy!