Do you dread going grocery shopping with your child? Does he love to run up and down the aisle, or continuously beg for sweets? I can perfectly understand that a simple grocery trip can feel like a major expedition with a toddler and it can definitely drive you crazy! But the good news is that with a little planning and patience, you can improve your shopping experience together and actually come to enjoy it with a content companion on board (or in cart!).

So arm yourself with the following 10 grocery-shopping tips to get the job done and leave the store happy:

  1. Make a list: Before you even think about taking your toddler shopping, write down everything you need to buy on your grocery trip since your little one can easily distract you from the task at hand and a list also cuts down on time spent wandering aimlessly through the aisle
  2. Give your little one a ride: A shopping cart is the easiest way to contain your child from running through the aisles and fortunately, most toddlers love to sit in one
  3. Expect the expected: Children are naturally curious; this is how they learn about the world around them so if your little one wants to examine an attractive item, please don't stop him. Instead, help him hold the item safely and even if an item cannot be purchased, it can be helpful to share the child's enthusiasm and interest in it.
  4. Teach good nutritional habits: The supermarket is a good place for nutrition education! Tell your child why you chose brown bread over white and why brown is better for them. Explain the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Also, be sure to point out all the beautiful colors in the produce aisle and encourage him to pick out some new produce to try.
  5. Recruit a shopping buddy: keeping your toddler’s hands busy will buy you valuable minutes to shop. Give your child some power and ask him to “help” by carrying his favorite box of cereals, loading unbreakable items into the cart or even allow him to push a kid’s shopping cart and get one thing you need from a low shelf. Veggies and fruits aisle?
  6. Work from the outside in: Grab your must-have items (vegetables and fruits, dairy, meats) first, since they’re all located in the perimeter of the store. That way, if you have to make a speedy getaway, you’ll at least have the essentials in your cart.
  7. Skip trouble spots: Kids and sugar should rarely mix (especially before naptime) so when it’s feasible, avoid the candy and chocolate aisle where most of the offerings are brightly colored. If a trip down is inevitable, at least speed through it. The quicker it is, the less time your toddler will have to beg for every package with a friendly creature smiling on it
  8. Don’t ban treats entirely: Allow your child to choose up to 3 treats that he can have on alternating days of the week. Give your child some healthier options for example a light wafer instead of a pure chocolate bar, juice instead of carbonated beverages, popcorn instead of chips and peanut butter instead of chocolate spread for healthy kids’ snacks.
  9. Consider the timing: Don’t go to the supermarket when you or your child is tired or hungry. Both of you will be more relaxed if you are well rested and satisfied. You can also bring a healthy snack along if your supermarket trip coincides with his snack time.
  10. Last but not the least-Appraisal time: Once your supermarket errand has passed smoothly don’t forget to say a nice word to your child and compliment him on his good behavior.

Hoping those tips will make you get through a fun supermarket tour with your little explorer!
Stay tuned for my next blog where I’ll be taking you through the aisles for healthy grocery shopping tips.