The Art of Grocery Shopping with Kids

Posted on April 03, 2014 by Amanda Holliday | 0 Comments

Making Real Food or Paleo recipes for family meals-and filling your reusable food pouches--starts well before you set foot in the kitchen.

Step one? Provisioning. If you’re not planning to hunt and gather your Real Food ingredients, that means a trip to the grocery store or the farmers’ market. And with kids...well, let’s just say it can be “an adventure.”

So today, Emily Peterson of Simply Possible Health Coaching, is sharing her tips on the art of grocery shopping with kids. A certified health coach and holistic health practitioner, Emily has studied with international health and wellness leaders including doctors Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, and David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center.

Emily takes a fun, balanced, down-to-earth approach to helping families achieve better health. And she definitely walks the walk when it comes to helping her daughter Fiona learn about smart food choices.

Without further ado, here are some great “field tested” tips from Emily for grocery shopping with kids.


I personally LOVE to grocery shop!  Yes, I mean that. It is truly one of my favorite things to do. And my little girl, Fiona, loves it, too! 

Together, we have perfected the art of creating colorful lists of what we need and what we desire, before venturing out to collect our tummy’s yummies. By continually including Fiona in this chore, it has taught her so much about making healthy choices. I truly believe that when a child is included in important family tasks and projects such as this, it creates in them a sense of healthy control and independence, maturity and well-being.

5 Tips for Grocery Shopping With Kids

Here are 5 ways that you, too, can turn your grocery shopping experience into a fun outing with your kiddos!

  1. Have your kids help create the list ahead of time. They can either shout out suggestions or color/scribble pictures and words of what they think you should purchase. Give them categories as well, such as: veggies; fruits; protein sources; treats; breakfast foods; lunch foods; dinner foods; etc.  

  2. Teach them how to identify organic vs. non-organic by telling them about the “9” on the sticker of organic produce. You can also teach them about the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” choices, which will make produce shopping sort of like a treasure hunt.

  3. Ask them to count the number of words on the ingredient labels, and challenge them to find the labels with the fewest amount listed.

  4. Have them help bag/box your groceries at the checkout lane. (You can even buy them each their own colorful canvas bag to use!)

  5. When you return home, have them help you put the groceries away, and ask them what their favorite food from each category that you purchased is.

A few additional suggestions, which are helpful to me personally:

  1. I don’t purchase anything unless I know for sure that I will be using it and/or eating it within a few days, unless it’s frozen meat. So yes, my pantry and fridge are fairly bare, compared to the average American’s.
  2. I don’t purchase anything that I don’t want my daughter or myself to eat. If I buy ice cream, we both get to eat ice cream.
  3. If my daughter doesn’t approve of the choices I give her for a meal or snack, then she doesn’t eat. Guess what? Thanks to their survival instinct, our kids will never choose starving over eating one of their less-than-desired options.

I realize and understand that every family and home life is unique, but I do truly hope that what has worked for my grocery shopping experiences with my daughter will be somewhat, if not extremely helpful to your own shopping experiences with your kiddos!  Remember that our kids can sense our stress, and we don’t want them growing up feeling stress around food.  

Happy eating!


Helpful Resources:

Printable Clean Fifteen / Dirty Dozen List: know when to buy organic vs. conventional 

Posted in Clean Fifteen, Dirty Dozen, Grocery Shopping with Kids, Guest Post, Kids, Real Food, Real Foodies

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