Grocery Scavenger Hunt, Anyone?

This Grocery Scavenger Hunt is a guest post by Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant & Movin’ Munchkin founder Katie Gillingham Katie is an entrepreneur and mom of two, with lots of great ideas for keeping meals healthy and fun. Here’s how she keeps the kids entertained and educated while filling the grocery cart.

When it comes to taking kids to the grocery store, it really used to be one of my worst nightmares — fights over who sits in the cart, whining over some crazy junk food they saw on TV, and the inevitable knocking over of some display and following “cleanup in aisle 5” announcement used to literally drive me to tears.

Then I got wise to the possibilities, and all of that changed. True story. And I’ll share.

The grocery store can be deadly boring to little kids, but give them something meaningful to do and the experience really can go from downright dreadful to surprisingly pleasant. Here are just a few ideas I use with my own children and my young clients. I love them because they both entertain and educate. You’ll have to adjust for age and interests, but I hope this gives you some ideas.

If you have a new reader in the family, let them check items off the list when you put them in the cart. (Please note: This requires that you print neatly and not use the usual chicken scratch in crayon list. I have also found that the opportunity to use a fancy pen ups the interest.)

In the produce section, get your kids to build a rainbow in the cart. (Note: You can print off a rainbow image for them to use as a guide if they are too young to have met Roy G Biv.) The hardest colours to find are usually the indigos and violets — think blueberries and eggplants. Then explain how nature makes healthy food colourful to attract us to it, and that we should try to eat a rainbow every day.

Set up a little grocery store scavenger hunt. Before you go, do up a couple of cards with either a few images or names of healthy foods your child needs to find. When he or she fills the card, let them choose one new fruit or veggie to go in the cart as a reward. Be sure to include at least a couple of items they’re not familiar with, so they will learn a little something in the process.

Choose one fruit and one veggie, and get your child to see how many forms of that food they can find in the store. For example, apples: fresh apple, apple sauce, dried apples, apple juice.

Before you head out shopping, let your child plan a healthy meal or snack, and take their own small grocery list of the items required to make it. They can then be responsible for finding the requisite ingredients for that meal. Make sure it includes a fruit or veggie!

You may think I’m nuts, but I’m telling you, getting to the store with a trick or two up your sleeve makes all the difference. Happy shopping!

grocery hunt

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