Grocery shopping can be a nightmare with kids. With their never-ending demands and tantrums, they surely know how to get what they want at the store. Most often than not, we end up giving in and regretting later. While it’s most convenient to shop alone, bringing your child along makes them more responsible at the table and teaches them the importance of eating healthy.
What foodstuffs we store at home is an important index of how healthy or unhealthy we are. Wise grocery shopping lays the foundation for healthy cooking, a healthy lifestyle, and in turn a healthier generation too. Read on to master the skills of smart and peaceful grocery shopping with your kids and how to avoid mindless shopping.
Plan for the week instead of buying in bits – Plan your meals for the week and create a shopping list from that. Make sure you plan wholesome meals incorporating foods from all the food groups. Give your child two or three meal options to choose from depending on their likes. Avoid asking them open ending questions like, “what do you want for breakfast/lunch?”, which will make your job even more upsetting and complex. At the end of the day, it is worth the time you’ve spent in planning.
Grocery list – Stick to your list as much as possible. Accommodating a few of your child’s requests is okay. Use your discretion and buy what you feel is less harmful to your child. It’s much more economical and time-saving to shop with a list in hand, and, you’re less likely to buy unhealthy foods too!
Go on a full stomach – This is a foolproof way to shop healthy. Fill yourself and your child before you shop so that you don’t pamper yourselves on whatever your see. This way, you’ll be less tempted to pick up unhealthy foodstuffs.
Know your store – Get to know the layout of the supermarket you visit frequently. Most supermarket layouts have fresh produce, dairy products, meat, and fish at the periphery. Abstain from the centre aisles which are usually laden with junk.
Nutrition labels – Attention to nutrition information, including reading food labels, can be an effective way to improve dietary behaviours. Settle for lesser processed foods. Simple tip: ditch products which have too many ingredients or ingredients that you can’t pronounce.
Fresh or frozen product? – Some nutrients may be lost during transport and storage of fresh vegetables and fruits, so you never really know how nutritious they are. However, freezing vegetables/fruits straight after they have been harvested preserves their nutrient content at the highest levels. On the other hand, make sure the vegetables/fruits are plain frozen without any additives (e.g. Sauce, salt, sugar syrup)
Convenience foods – such as breakfast cereals, bread, bread spreads may be a good idea to help save time for many women who are juggling work and home. Nevertheless, read the nutrition labels carefully before allowing yourself to go for a particular product. Compare products from different brands for salt, sugar and fat contents. Be wary of added preservatives or other harmful additives.
Organic or not? – Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is the bottom line, whether organic or not. Cost, being the biggest downfall for organic foods, you can choose not to buy them as long as you pick seasonal fruits and vegetables, wash thoroughly in running water to do away with any pesticides and select seasonal fruits and vegetables. Encourage your child to eat seasonal products as they are more nutritious and tasty.
Beware of the checkout aisle! – The checkout aisle is usually laden with junk to persuade your little ones. Avoid falling prey to those marketing gimmicks to buy items from the checkout aisle; instead, distract yourselves. Another suggestion worth adopting is to shop at a time the store is less crowded to speed up your checkout process. Or strike a deal with your child inside to avoid picking up stuff from the checkout aisle.