Grocery Shopping with the Kids

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Is grocery shopping or menu planning one of those things you were taught as a child, or just kind of figured out for yourself as you got older?

If you have young children at home, it is easy to get started helping them learn these life and cooking skills, too. 

1. Plan a fun time to let each child pick out a meal they enjoy,

2. Choose a recipe,

3. Make a list of the needed ingredients.

Continue the process with a trip to the grocery store, helping the child notice things like which types of foods are grouped together in the store, what types of foods are usually found around the perimeter of the store, and how the aisles are numbered or marked.

Another great thing to teach the children at the check-out, is how to sort the groceries in the cart so they will be bagged with like things together, making it easier for bagging (if you have to bag it yourself) and for unloading and putting things away.

1. Keep the frozen / cold items together,

2. stand all the boxes and cans together,

3. place fresh fruits and vegetables together, and

4. load heavy items first with lighter items (like bread, egg or chips) loaded last so they don’t get smashed.

After the child has helped pick out the ingredients on the list and complete the purchase at the register, then it’s time to head home and dive into preparing a great dish!

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For older children, the activity could include:

1. planning several meals for the week,

2. consulting that week’s grocery ads,

3. searching for coupons,

4. and perhaps even making a budget for that week’s meals as well. 

Have them be sure to check the cupboards for ingredients already on hand before making their shopping list for the week, and then see how best to maintain their budget given the meals planned.

Next, during the trip to the store, have the children keep a tally of what they’ve spent so far, compare quality and prices per ounce or unit, check nutritional values and more.

Involving the kids in this planning process will definitely help them be more willing participants in the kitchen and at meal time.

In addition, these life lessons of planning, organizing, budgeting and being good stewards of their time and money will serve them well for many years to come.

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Try these easy recipes with the younger kids, and let the older ones help out with full meals in the coming weeks:

strawberry, banana, french toast, breakfast casserole, fun kids recipes,  Strawberry Banana French Toast Casserole

peanut butter, coconut, energy, kids snack, kids recipes, cooking with kids, no-bake,
Peanut Butter Balls

strawberry, lemonade, summer drinks, easy recipe, kids drinks, lemon,
Strawberry Lemonade Cooler

cocktail appetizers, sausage dogs, mini hot dogs, crescents and hot dogs, party food, easy recipe
Mini Cocktail Dogs

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think, what has worked for you, or other ideas you might have for encouraging our children.

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More Healing Foods

While most people are aware of many of the foods traditionally presented as being healthy or healing foods, there are some foods not as obvious in this category and easily overlooked.  Keep an eye out for ways to add some of these healing foods to your routine in the coming days and give your body access to nutrients that help fight cancer, maintain better heart health, and generally make you feel better.

peeled orange, sliced orange, orange with pith, pith of orange, orange peelingFor instance, orange piths, the white skin layer between the zest and the pulp of the orange (you know, that part that’s always hard to peel away after you’ve removed most of the outer peel), contains much of the orange’s fiber and antioxidants.  While the pith can be somewhat bitter, try leaving it on orange slices being added to a smoothie or fruit salad, and get that added benefit from your fruit!  You can try some oranges in this delicious Spinach, Orange & Chicken Salad (and if you like it, save it to your online cookbook so you can edit or add your own photos.)

mustard, healthy foods, mustard and honey, spicy mustardNext up is mustard – what?  Most people think about mustard in conjunction with hot dogs or hamburgers.  But mustard is full of selenium with quite a list of benefits such as helping prevent heart disease, defending cells against free radicals, boosting the immune system, and helping protect against cancer!  It even contains manganese, which is purported to help soothe PMS symptoms.  So, next time you have some roasted vegetables (or Hogs in a Blanket), try dipping them in mustard-honey sauce.  Or use mustard, oil, and vinegar for a salad dressing.  Mustard seeds are found in the spice aisle and make great additions to stir-fries and curries as well.

celery stalks, celery leaves, celery, healthy foods, healing foods, online cookbook,Are you one of those people that removes the leaves from celery sticks before chopping and using?  Well, no more!  The leaves are actually the most nutritious part of the plant.  They have more beta-carotene, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and iron than the stalks!  So, next time, chop up those leaves with your celery and toss them in whatever you’re dishing up; mix them into a salad, use like parsley, or grab a bunch for this Squash, Celery Leaves & Orechiette dish.

frozen broccoli, broccoli florets, healthy foods, healing foods, online cookbookLastly, surprise, surprise — frozen broccoli actually contains up to 35% more beta-carotene than fresh broccoli.  And beta-carotenes are important for fighting damaging free radicals.  The sulforaphane in broccoli helps protect our bodies from infections that inflame the lungs and arteries.  And the high levels of vitamin C in broccoli help create collagen, keeping skin firm and healthy.  Try it in this Broccoli Cheese Noodle Soup sometime.

So what will you be dishing up this week and adding to your routine to improve your health?  Leave us a comment below to let us know what you will be trying.  And remember to add your favorite recipes to your own online cookbook here at Dish Dish – where you can add them to your shopping list and access from your mobile device any time!