Grocery shopping with children can be a struggle. You know they’re going to reach for the colorful displays filled with cleverly designed advertising and tempting treats. Well, think of just how colorful the produce isles are and start your shopping trip there! I used to let me little ones pick out at least one or two items in the produce department right at the beginning of our trip to the store. You might be surprised at the things they choose, and they may be things that you would never consider. None of my children like the type of lettuce that I buy, so one of their favorite things to choose is the “right” kind of lettuce. Bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries. Asparagus? Okay, if that’s what you want. I always have liked red-skinned potatoes, but the kids like to pick out the brown-skinned ones. Okay, whatever. It’s their choice! Plus, it’s easier to say “no” in the cookie isle if you’ve already filled your cart with colorful fruits and veggies.
Who needs the cookie isle at all? I’ve heard that if you stay to the outside edges of the grocery store, you’ll eat healthier. Start with the produce section; then move on to the seafood and meats. I like Meijer because they have a whole meat department complete with butchers! Even if you grab a big roast from the shelves, you can take it to them and they will cut it just the way you want it. I will often find a nice big roast on sale and then have them cut it into three smaller roasts and package it “freezer-ready” and they never charge me extra for the additional work and packaging. It’s great. Move down to the cheeses and other dairy, and you won’t have any room in your cart for much else.
I often hear parents say “I can’t get Johnny to stop eating junk food.” Uhhh…Johnny probably can’t drive to the store and pull out a debit card! Who’s buying the junk food? You? Your spouse? A few years ago, I found a book called “You Are What You Eat” by Gillian McKeith. It really helped me to get a feel for the types of foods I should be eating to make my body feel good. Also, if you really want to learn about the way food is processed in America, watch the documentary Food, inc. It’s a real eye-opener. Believe me, you’ll start reading labels and avoid certain foods altogether.
Well, happy eating! I hope your next trip to the grocery store is a colorful one! What’s your opinion? -Julie L. Spencer