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Teach Your Kids to Hunt ... for Healthy Foods!

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You can make grocery shopping easier, more fun -- and teach your kids about nutrition while you're at it!

family shopping for produce in the grocery store
Haylie Pomroy: I don't have many friends that like to grocery shop -- though I do have one that makes her lists and delegates each kid to find or hunt down items to return to the cart. When I heard about this idea, I decided to take it and turn our grocery adventures into a hunt for healthy foods.

On the drive to the store, I will ask my kids questions like: Did you know the higher up the ingredient list an item is, the more of it there is in a product? So for example, if you are comparing two loaves of bread and both contain the word "sugar" in the ingredient list, the one that has "sugar" lower down the list would be the better choice.

Or I will do things like ask: Who wants to pick what veggie we are having for dinner or what fruit we are having for dessert?

Now my oldest is 11, and I actually give him a mini grocery list and have him venture out into the store to find items to return to our basket. My little one stays in the same aisle for her safety and the sanity of others. Both, however, since a very young age have been on the "hunt" for very healthy foods.

Four healthy things to have an older child hunt for:

1) Ask them to find a loaf of bread that does NOT have the word "enriched flour" in the ingredient list.
2) Ask them to get 1 dozen eggs that are not cracked and are grade A, large brown, and organic.
3) Ask them to find an apple sauce that does NOT have the word "sugar" in the ingredient list.
4) Ask them to find a peanut butter that only has peanuts, oil, and salt in the ingredient list.

Five healthy things to have a younger child hunt for:

1) Ask them to find their most favorite fruit in the whole world.
2) Ask them to now find that favorite fruit that is ripe and ready to eat today.
3) Ask them to now find that favorite fruit that is not quite ripe so they can eat it in a few days.
4) Ask them to find their most favorite vegetable in the whole world.
5) Ask them to find a vegetable that their most favorite animal in the whole world might like to eat. Ask them if they might like to pretend to be that animal and eat it too.

I know that grocery shopping can be a chore, and with kids in tow, it can even be very stressful. Getting kids fired up about eating healthy foods and making good food choices is a gift that you can give them that will carry through their whole lives. In my family, we don't shop, we "hunt" down healthy food!


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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Uly September 16, 2009, 11:05 PM

“3) Ask them to find an apple sauce that does NOT have the word “sugar” in the ingredient list.” Sugar doesn’t bother me. Corn syrup does.

Debi Miller September 19, 2009, 10:02 AM

I loved the idea of getting the kids involved with learning the labeled ingredients! Good job Haylie!


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