Food Shopping with a Child

Shopping for food with your child can be fun and a good chance to teach your child about healthy foods! Here are some ideas about shopping with your child:

  1. Make a shopping list together before your go to the store. List the food by the food groups shown in the Food Guide Pyramid. Write down all the foods you need:
    • Breads, cereals, rice, and pastas
    • Vegetables
    • Fruits
    • Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts
    • Milk, yogurt, and cheese

    When you finish, read the list to your child. Talk about the foods in each group. Ask which foods they like to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

  2. Talk about the food groups while you shop. Show your child all the different kinds of foods. While your shopping, let your child cross the food off the list.
  3. Look for discoveries! If you can, shop when you're not rushed. Also, shop when you and your child are not tired or hungry. Take your time in the store. Discover together the many different kinds of foods.
  4. Ask your child to choose a new food for the family to try.

    Each time you shop, ask your child to choose a food that he or she has never eaten before:

    • A new fruit
    • A new vegetable
    • A new flavor of cheese
    • A new kind of bread
    • A new kind of dry bean
  5. Unpack the food together when you get home. Help your child name each food and the food groups. Also, help your child learn which foods need to go in the refrigerator.

Taken from "Tickle Your Appetite," Team Nutrition's Education Kit for Child Care. A program of the Food and Nutrition Services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. FNS-307; July 1998.