Food shopping with toddlers can be a stressful task. The young kids often have a mind of their own, wandering off when mom is not looking. Some also cause a scene in the supermarket.
How can busy mom make the most of their time when shopping with toddlers? Check out the following tips to help moms shop efficiently when small kids come along.
Tips for Grocery Shopping with a Toddler
Use a Toddler Friendly Shopping Cart
Unlike babies, toddlers love running around, even in unfamiliar places. To make sure they don’t get lost in the crowd, find a fun toddler friendly shopping cart at your store if the store provides these carts. Carts usually look like a car, an animal, etc.
Most kids enjoy the ride and will be entertained as mom points out interesting items while wheeling the trolley along the aisle. Do make sure the child is secured with a safety harness on the cart. If the grocery store provides mini-shopping carts, consider letting your child “shop” with you with their own toddler sized cart.
Some stores give out a piece of free fruit when shopping with a child!
Leave Family Contact Details in the Child’s Clothes
Sometimes, even with precautions taken, a young child may still get separated from his mom. To ensure a reunion with the family if that happens, leave a label with the child’s name, home number and street address inside a pocket or on the back of their shirt. This will help the store’s customer service personnel to contact the lost child’s parents. Toddlers who have started talking should be taught their names, parents’ names, phone number and home address.
Involve Toddlers in Food Shopping Activities
Small kids have very short attention spans and become restless and bored if they have nothing to do. Some parents bring along their kids’ favorite toys, books, tablets, and snacks on shopping trips to keep them occupied. However, sometimes, even these are not enough to hold their attention.
The solution is to involve the toddlers while shopping. Give the child some tasks and make him feel useful. This will also encourage him to be involved in household chores later on. Mom can show him wrappers or boxes of things that need to be purchased and ask him to help look for these items. When these items are found, let him take them down and put them in the cart. Giving a toddler some practical choices (like asking him whether he wants green or red grapes or if he prefers cheese sticks to cheese slices) is likely to make shopping easier too.
Get Help From a Friend
An extra pair of hands is always useful for a mom who has to keep her small child or (children) amused while trying to push a trolley loaded with groceries. If possible, ask a friend to come along and help with the shopping. One adult can concentrate on filling up the shopping cart while the other keeps the child occupied. And when all the shopping is done, there’s someone to help carry the bags. This will certainly make shopping experiences with toddlers much less stressful.
Moms who dread shopping with toddlers can learn a few tricks to minimize the stress. To shop efficiently when the kids come along, allow them to ride in a fun shopping cart, leave contact details in their clothes or teach them their names, phone number and home address, give them tasks in the supermarket to keep them amused and ask a friend to come along to help.
Find more tips for toddlers here.