How well can your kids navigate your local grocery store? Of course they can find the soda aisle, chips, cookies and ice cream. But if you asked them to go find kale, almond milk, natural peanut butter or arugula salad, how would they do? 🙂
Long ago, I saw a documentary on TV about the nutrition epidemic in America. One thing this film talked about was how grocery stores are arranged. Did you know that all of the junk food (chips, sodas, sweet cereals) are all on the center aisles for a reason.
Center aisles get far more traffic than the perimeter of a grocery store. And junk food has a much bigger markup for the grocery store than fruit and vegetables. So the junk food is intentionally displayed front-and-center in your grocery store with great hopes that you will buy it.
Healthy grocery shopping is a critical life skill. Make sure you, your kids and teens are making healthy choices at the grocery store
Tips For Healthy Grocery Shopping
- Kids (and parents) must know how to grocery shop properly. Avoid loading your cart with junk from the center aisles. Take your time shopping in the perimeter sections of your store (produce, fish, dairy, etc…)
- Make a shopping list before you drive to the store – and stick with it.
- Plan your meals on Sundays and buy what you need for the entire week. This will avoid trips to the drive-thru
- Know how to read food labels
- Are you checking to see how many servings are in a portion?
- Do you know what ‘grams of sugar’ translates to? Did you know that 4 grams of sugar equals a teaspoon of sugar? A granola bar averages 24 grams of sugar. That’s 6 spoonfuls of sugar in a tiny granola bar! A can of Sprite has 40 grams of sugar. That’s 10 spoonfuls of sugar in a single drink. Yikes!
- Are you reading the list of ingredients? If there is a bunch of stuff you can’t pronounce or you have no idea what it is, that’s a red flag that the product is full of additives and junk.
- Know what the healthier alternatives are:
- Whole grain bread vs white bread
- Greek yogurt vs plain yogurt
- unsweetened applesauce vs sweetened applesauce
- Chicken/beef with no additives or antibiotics vs other meats
- How to make a homemade pizza vs a frozen pizza
- Natural peanut butter vs sweetened peanut putter
The Grocery Store Shopping Scavenger Hunt
See how many of the following healthy food items you your kids can find. Make this fun and maybe give a fun reward for each one they can find.
Ready. Set. GO!
- Greek yogurt (double the protein and half the sugar than regular yogurt)
- Almond milk
- Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’ – grain packed with protein)
- Arugula salad
- Kambucha (fermented probiotic drink)
- Chicken with no hormones or additives
- Frozen mango chunks (frozen fruits and veggies have the same nutritional value as fresh fruit and veggies)
- Freshly made pizza dough (hint: this is usually found in your bakery section and made fresh daily)
- Gluten-free bread
- Whole grain pasta
- Sparkling flavored water
- Natural unsweetened peanut butter
- Cherry tomatoes
How did your kids do? Did this help them learn more about healthy grocery shopping? What are some other food items I should add to this list that are fun (and important) for kids to find?
(photo by Pexels)