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Health & Parenting

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Grocery Shopping With School-Age Kids

School-age children learn important lessons in nutrition while grocery shopping.

Ready, Set, Grocery Shop! continued...

Asking kids about how much six apples might weigh, then weigh the fruit to see if they were close.

Ask kids to place 2 pounds worth of oranges in a bag for you.

Give older boys and girls the price per pound, and have them guess at the total price. See how close they come at checkout.

  • Play "I Spy." When grocery shopping with older kids have them play detective, searching out certain items for you, such as:

Cereal with at least 4 grams of fiber and fewer than 8 grams of sugar per serving

Pineapple canned in its own juice

Whole-grain bread that costs $2.50 a loaf or less

  • Branch Out. "Find a new fruit or vegetable, like a starfruit or papaya or dried cherries or mango to try," Bissex recommends.

Have your child choose three different color apples and have a taste test at home. Or purchase clementines instead of oranges for a different taste treat.

  • Compare Costs. Food is pricey, and kids should be made aware of the cost whenever possible. Have them:

Compare smaller and larger packages of foods such as cereal and crackers to see what they think is the better value.

Compare the cost of national brands to store bought items for the best price: store brands are not always cheaper.

Grocery Shopping With Kids: Know the Limits

It's OK to make it clear that you expect your kids to participate in the important chore of grocery shopping, but there's no need to test the limits of their (or your) patience.

"Just shop for groceries. Because kids tire easily, it can be too overwhelming to do much else than spend an hour or so getting food," Altman suggests.

Grocery shopping with your kids is a skill best developed slowly. Remember, trying to cram too much into one outing is no good for you either!

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