Why It's Worth The Hassle to Take Your Kids Grocery Shopping
Kids Health: Why It’s Worth The Hassle to Take Your Kids Grocery Shopping
Our society has become so detached from the sources of our food that kids don’t realize their French fries comes from a potato or their favorite breakfast, bacon, actually comes from a pig. When typical American lives have become so “busy”, sometimes I sit back and think, “What are we actually so busy doing?” Busy updating and checking statuses on Facebook, busy juggling work and a house full of people, busy maintaining careers and raising children with their never-ending extra activities. Whatever it is people are so busy with, one thing I want to encourage parents to do is to take the time to bring their kids along (sometimes) during their weekly grocery shopping trips.
Every time I decide I have had just enough coffee, just patient enough, and just happy enough to have the courage to bring my kids grocery shopping with me, I DO! As much as I cook at home and how much my kids are exposed to homemade meals, a trip to the local market or grocery store becomes a mini field trip of exploration, excitement, wonder and hands-on education about food, culture, simple mathematics, travel and so much more.
My kids ages range from 4-13 years old. I have found that from as early as 2 years old, my kids have enjoyed tagging along to shopping trips to the grocery store. Yes, many times it’s a hassle for me to take 3 kids with me grocery shopping. Their wandering eyes wanting to grab and buy every single silly thing. Not to mention the quarreling that ensues about who gets to push the cart and then about none of them wanting to push the cart! I get it. It’s not the most practical thing to do when you have to focus on sticking to the list and a budget. But, I promise you it is worth it!
I make a point to peruse almost every isle in the store that showcase fresh food. I make the kids bag fruits & vegetables and point out weird or funny looking produce and encourage them to touch it. I quiz my 8 and 13 year old about how to find out how much things cost and how to find out what items are by reading the signs. I make my daughter weigh produce (something I never do) to learn how to measure and read a scale.
There are so many opportunities to teach kids at the grocery store and they don’t even know they are learning! The skills they are learning from a simple shopping trip are skills every person needs to have to learn basic adult survival. The exploration about ethnic ingredients takes them to a journey across the world without leaving your city. As a parent, despite the small hassle of bringing my kids along, nothing replaces watching their faces light up at a huge mound of perfectly piled oranges, or their laughter while they pick up a Dragon Fruit and at how weird it looks. I know that I am making a difference in a small way, starting in my home.