Going to the store with children can be a chore. For starters, it usually involves overusing the word ‘No!’ to the many things they pick up through the aisles. If you’ve gotten through the aisles in one piece, your child is likely reminding you of how hungry they are and begging you to leave. For practical reasons, it’s important we not only teach our children to tolerate grocery shopping but how to get your child to help with grocery shopping as well.

3 great parenting tips to get your family to help (not hinder) your grocery shopping.

1. Create a list before you go.

Going to the store with a pre-written list is a great way to avoid picking up items you don’t need. While you’re at home, sit with your child and include him in the list making. Ask your child to help check the pantry and refrigerator for groceries. Once they’re done, ask them what it is they would like to get from the store. Including your child in compiling a list will teach your children about what it means to grocery shop responsibly, and will help them feel included in the process.

2. Provide options.

While putting your list together, provide your child with options. Not sugary, unhealthy options, but the option to decide which fruits or nuts they’d like to have as snacks. Does your child usually go for the sweets? Let them decide between apples, bananas, and grapes. If they ask for saltier snacks such as chips, try suggesting almonds or peanuts. Children appreciate being given options, and will gladly choose from the ones provided. By encouraging your child to eat healthy snacks, you’re inadvertently encouraging them to eat less junk food. They’ll be more driven to help with grocery shopping as well.

3. Eat a snack before you go.

The worst time to go grocery shopping is on an empty stomach. Not only does everything look incredibly delicious, but you end up purchasing those items that you don’t need. Save yourself the trouble and have a snack with your kids before you go grocery shopping. Some easy snacks are celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, apple slices, crackers with cheese, or maybe even some grapes. Whatever you do, be sure to eat something small before you go anywhere near a grocery store!