Thursday, 04 August 2011
So, I saw this post on Momaroo about child free grocery shopping, and the author asserted that children learn life lessons at the grocery store.
I completely agree with this. At the grocery store, Isabel (now almost 3), and I would discuss fruits and vegetables, naming them, telling her the colors and shapes, pointing out figures/animals on milk cartons and cereal boxes, ingredients, discussing meals etc. HOWEVER, it took a long time, and once I had Caroline (now almost 2), I knew it would take even longer.
Now, expecting twins, I don't know how I would put 4 kiddos in the cart and have enough room for food! The last time we went to the grocery store since we moved and needed staples, Caroline was in the front cart and Isabel in the basket and she yelled, "Momma! Quit putting food in here, no room for the Isabel!" We don't get the luxury of getting daddy on regular days of the week to help out since he is an ER doctor and has a rotating schedule. It's too hard to plan around his schedule for a grocery store trip.
So, we went to a organic home food delivery service when I was pregnant with Caroline. I have NOT regretted it. It has freed up 2-3 hours a week for me to spend with my children. And when I was working, this time was very critical, not just for me, but for them too.
I did miss certain things about taking them to the grocery store, but have incorporated this into our household anyway.
1. We grow fruits and vegetables. We talk about when they are ripe and good to eat versus not. My children are allowed to pick the ripe fruits and vegetables, and they even take care of the plants by watering them and weeding. We grow tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cucumber, squash, zucchini, broccoli, and lettuce. They love to go out side and snack!
2. When we get the delivery, they are allowed to help me count our meats and frozen fruits and veggies to make sure the right amount has been delivered.
3. When we get our delivery, they pass me items to put up in the pantry, and I will tell them what it is and what it is for.
4. We will go to the farmers market for fun (ours has pony rides and jump castles) and still go over the shapes and colors of vegetables and fruits.
5. Each week, I make a list of what we are going to eat for supper, and ask their input.
6. When I cook and Isabel is awake, Isabel is allowed to help me measure and season. After food on the stove top is cooled down, I will let her stand on a chair and give it a quick (supervised) stir prior to serving it. Caroline is still too small for the this yet.
7. When I bake, both girls are allowed to help measure, scoop, pour, and ice and decorate with sprinkles since Caroline can help out from the safety of her high chair, she gets to participate in this one too and they both love to decorate it when it's all done! It may not be pretty, but it's fun!
So, yes, children do learn life lessons from the grocery store, and it can be a learning experience. However, if it's more relaxing for mom to have a child free trip to the grocery store, there are ways to incorporate these same lessons at home.
Any other ideas for incorporating food, gardening, cooking or trips to the grocery store with learning lessons? Do you and your family enjoy doing these activities together?