Now that Elliott is mobile, grocery shopping has become a lot more difficult. She doesn’t like to sit still and the grocery store is full of colorful distractions. Lately I’ve had to become a lot more creative when it comes to grocery shopping. Here are my top 3 tips of how to grocery shop with a toddler:
1. Let them help | Whenever it is appropriate, I try to let Elliott pick out what I need from the shelf. She loves to help pick up an apple or a box of macaroni. Just make sure it is something small and not too heavy. If it is too heavy, it will likely end up dropped on your foot instead of in the cart. I don’t know from experience or anything.
2. Snacks | Eating is always a good distraction for Elliott and, lucky for me, she loves food! Make sure you bring something that is easy and is relatively mess free. There’s nothing like needing to clean a sticky, gooey mess of smushed and slobbery chocolate bunny graham cracker off a cart when you are done. Ask me how I know this. One of our favorite snacks is Gerber lil’ Beanies. I love that it is made from navy beans, has protein and fiber, it is mess free, and Elliott can feed herself with little help from me. Elliott loves them because they taste good! Again, ask me how I know 🙂 We got ours at our local Publix.
3. Turn your groceries into toys | Beyond just helping me pick things off the shelf, a lot of times I’ll let Elliott hold onto it as she is sitting in the cart. She’ll usually play with it for a while and then when she is done, I have another item right there for her to move onto. A box of macaroni makes a great musical instrument. So does the can of Gerber lil’ Beanies. A package of string cheese makes a great crinkly noise and, because it’s refrigerated, has a different feel to it. A small bottle of club soda can be fun to shake and watch the bubbles (just make sure you set that one aside for a day or two before opening)