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Tips For Grocery Shopping With a Toddler

I’ve never loved grocery shopping – it’s one of my least favorite tasks on the face of the planet. But, now that I have a little wiggle pants to tote along with me while grocery shopping…well…let’s just say it hasn’t become any more appealing. Shopping with a toddler in tow is quite the challenging task to say the least, but I’ve figured out a few tricks to make the process a little more bearable.


  • Tips For Grocery Shopping With a Toddler 1 of 6
    Tips For Grocery Shopping With a Toddler
    Click through for tips to make grocery shopping with your wiggly toddler a little bit easier.
  • Plan and plot 2 of 6
    Plan and plot
    Choose a time of day for grocery shopping that is your toddler's happiest time of day. For me that means around 10:00 AM. Yesterday I went around 11:00 because I spent a little too long at the gym and it was no bueno because it started getting too close to nap time...never a good thing. I also make sure to have a grocery list so I don't meander and take extra time. A little bit of prep work makes the entire grocery shopping experience MUCH better.
  • Bring snacks 3 of 6
    Bring snacks
    I know that those of you who subscribe to the "French Kids Eat Everything" way of thinking (i.e. no snacking) will shudder at this, but snacks are an absolute life saver. If you intend to be out for awhile, you'll need to be packing extra sustenance. I usually bring along a squeeze pouch of baby food, a snack trap filled with cheerios and a fruit bar.
  • Bring distractions 4 of 6
    Bring distractions
    Stickers are great shopping distractions. I buy the dot ones that are used for yard sales and she sticks them all over everything, but I don't mind as long as I get my shopping done. Other good distractions include a favorite stuffed animal or book, a key chain, or if you're truly desperate your smart phone (*note: we're talking a serious emergency here unless you like having a phone that's covered in drool or with a smashed screen...just sayin').
  • Let them help 5 of 6
    Let them help
    Sometimes I let Fern push around the kid's cart at the grocery store and have her help me put items into it. This can get a little tricky since she's not so great at steering yet, but she's getting the hang of it. Yes, it takes WAY longer, but it's worth it if she's happy and the experience can be turned into a fun learning opportunity instead of a drudgery.
  • Don’t cram too much in 6 of 6
    Don't cram too much in
    I grocery shop at multiple stores: Trader Joe's (for convenience items), Zupan's (for fantastic produce), Winco (for bargains on dry goods), our local butcher shop (for local/organic meat) and occasionally Costco (for dog food and toiletries). I don't go to all of these stores every week, but still, it's a lot. Before I had Fern I would cram all my stops into one day, but since having her I've realized that it's just not gonna happen. Now I break our trips up throughout the week. It makes it much less stressful and gives us an excuse to get out of the house. If I do happen to get overly ambitious, this photo is the end result. A grumpy girl who throws a fit in the cart and requires carrying throughout the store for the remainder of our trip. Not a fun time. Learn from my mistakes!

How to you manage grocery shopping with a toddler? Any tips or tricks you care to share?

 

Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble. More from Lauren:

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