MOM ADVISOR

Encourage responsibility

Keeping kids involved with purchasing decisions may be the first step toward making your trip to the store more efficient and less stressful. Since many children love important-sounding titles, you might appoint your child as the Official Assistant Shopper to add to the importance of their role. You may even wish to make a badge out of construction paper, which can be attached with a safety pin. Your child could write his or her name or color the badge while you finish last-minute preparations.

Choices

A responsibility you might assign to your Assistant Shopper could include choosing produce. You may need to explain that mushy apples and green potatoes don't taste good, but after a brief introduction, even young children can look for bad produce and choose the best-looking available.

Money and math skills

Children can also learn about comparison shopping to find the best value for their money—and maybe even start to become accustomed to working with money, so that they will begin to understand the value of a dollar.

When multiple recipes have the same ingredients, have your children test their addition skills by assisting you in adding the amounts of each ingredient needed. Some recipes might include fractional amounts, so you can even teach older kids about fractions.

Smart food choices

Throughout the store, another practical opportunity that presents itself is making smart food choices. The produce department is a natural place to begin talking about smart food choices and how fruits and veggies are generally excellent choices. This shows your children why some selections are better than others.

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