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Family Matters: Take ‘Em Along!


Take ‘Em Along!Do you dread taking your kids along to the grocery store? I have to admit, it’s always easier when I’m alone, and I definitely stick to my list better when there’s nobody else along to sneak forbidden foods into the buggy. But what about when there’s no choice and the kid(s) will be joining you? Don’t groan; you CAN make this work!

And of course, the key element is to plan ahead. Sometime, totally unrelated to the shopping trip, gather a few tools that will make grocery trips more do-able. Depending on the age of your children, maybe you can make up a bingo card of items to spot in the store; maybe you can have your child match up coupons with products; younger children can help make veggie choices—like broccoli over carrots, or red grapes instead of green. Kids are great at matching colors—even the youngest child can help you look for the reddest bell pepper, or the largest beet.

Does your child pester for treats and candy? How about making a coupon, one per child; once they find what they want, they redeem their coupon to you, and that’s it. Whenever they see a great potential snack item, you can ask your children if they feel this is the best choice for their coupon….often they’ll reconsider!

In short, the success of your shopping trip will depend on a positive attitude all around, as brief a trip as possible, and if you know of any trouble areas (the candy aisle, perhaps?), discuss them before you ever enter the store.

Grocery shopping with kids is a great educational opportunity. You can learn about fractions, budgets, prioritizing, nutrition and making change. It really is worth it!


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