As children get older and start to understand that there is more to their meal than sitting down to eat it, including them in the whole process is important. One of the ways to involve your kids is through grocery shopping with them.
Before the idea of grocery shopping with your children conjures flashbacks of tantrums and toddlers running wild through the aisles, read on to find out how to make the shopping experience fun and educational for your kids.
Write a shopping list
Before you head off to the supermarket or farmer’s markets, taking a moment to sit with your kids and write out a shopping list helps them to understand the process of decision-making around what they will eat.
If rissoles are on the menu, what vegetables should you serve with them? What fruit would they like to have for their afternoon snacks this week? What do you usually serve that you need to buy more of? What is something new you could try?
Focusing on fruit and vegetables during this process helps your kids understand the importance of fresh produce in their diet and can double as a fun way to learn colours, shapes and tastes as you describe them.
At the shops
Once you’re at the shop or market, task your kids with helping to find the fruit and vegetables on the list, allowing them to tick the item off when they’ve put it in the basket. If something on your list isn’t available, see if they can find an alternative and include this in your meal instead.
You can go another step further and encourage your kids to browse the fruit and vegetable section to find something unfamiliar. If they are willing to try it, take it home and research together how to cook it and choose which meal to serve it with. This is a great way to introduce new vegetables and encourage variety.
Preparing the food
When it comes time to prepare the meal, get your kids involved and hands-on in the kitchen. This helps them to see the process through from decision-making, buying, preparing and then of course, eating.
Including your kids in the whole process of deciding what to eat, shopping for it and preparing it can have significant benefits when it comes to eating the food. This is great if you have fussy eaters or kids who are eager to help out.
If you’re in the Brisbane area, visit me in the city for a Children’s Health consultation.