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Toddler holding produce with parent

Make Grocery Shopping with Your Toddler Fun

Nicole Brigham, RD

Going to the grocery store can be a fun experience for you and your child. Children begin to learn from their parents from the minute they are born, so teaching your child how to shop in the grocery store from an early age can help them to become health-savvy shoppers when they grow up. If you dread taking your kids to the grocery store with you, try doing most of your shopping solo and take the kids with you at another time for a short, fun learning experience. Here are a few suggestions for making your next trip to the grocery store something to look forward to:

Shop the Perimeter

This is one of my favorite suggestions! Most of the fresh, non-processed foods, including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, bread, and certain dairy products, are located around the store’s perimeter. It can be challenging to navigate the center isles with a child because they typically stock more processed foods and junk food. Try to buy 100% whole wheat when looking for bread and pasta. This is a better alternative because whole grain foods contain more of the essential components required for a balanced diet.

Having Fun in the Produce Aisle

The produce section can be an exciting sensory experience for your little one. As you walk by all the different items talk about the colors, smells, and textures. Let your child feel a hairy kiwi, prickly pineapple, or soft plum. Let them smell the fresh herbs or the luscious strawberries. Have them assist you in choosing from a rainbow of vibrant fruits and vegetables, keeping in mind that each color represents a different level of vitamin and mineral richness. Buying fresh vegetables can be made into an educational experience if your youngster has learned to count. Allow them to count the goods as you put them in your produce bag or shopping cart.

Games with Groceries

Create a fun shopping experience for you and your kiddo by turning it into a game! From sounding out the names of products, to I spy, to telling a tall tale while roaming the store, playing games while shopping can be something to make you and your kiddo smile.

Discover New Foods Together

Each time you visit the grocery store, let your little one choose a new fresh food to try. Getting your child involved in the selection of foods can give them a sense of control and increase the chances that they will try that food.

Try a New Recipe

For older kiddos, let them pick out their own healthy snack recipe at home and make a shopping list for the ingredients. Then they can hunt down the ingredients at the store with your help. Teaching your children to shop for and prepare foods from a young age can help lead them to healthy culinary greatness!

Maintaining a healthy diet starts with shopping. Bring home lots of fresh, wholesome goodness and leave the less healthy foods behind. This will help you to maintain a healthy home and teach your children to eat healthy right from the start.

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