Food Shopping Shakedown
Have you ever experienced in your life going shopping and you witness parents negotiating with their children at the grocery store? usually it ends in bribery? I believe most parents swore, pre-children, that they would never do that but they find themselves in that exact situation one day shopping at the grocery store. You unload your groceries only to realize your child got what they wanted but you forgot a few things due to the food shopping shakedown. Here are 3 strategies to prevent the food shopping shakedown and get back in charge at the grocery store.
Rule #1 - Never Shop Hungry
When you are hungry everything looks tasty and your mouth waters even more for those carbs displayed right at the entrance of most groceries stores. (Cookies, candy, chips, chocolate, bread) When you are hungry your blood sugar is getting low and your body is physically craving sugar for energy. If you are grocery shopping alone and you are hungry, you may have the mental willpower to avoid the temptation of buying those carb-loaded foods, but kids do not possess that same will power. When kids are hungry it's about 100 times worse because their physical needs and wants overpower everything. They just want to eat and all rationale is thrown out the window. The solution is simple... just make sure you and your kids have a balanced meal before you go shopping. It can be a grab and go meal or a quality protein shake. This strategy will prevent all wandering food eyes at the grocery store.
Rule #2 - Have a Plan
The creation of the big-box grocery stores has transformed the shopping experience from simply going into the store to buy some food on your list to now feeling like you have entered an amusement wonderland the moment you walk through those sliding doors. the smell of fresh cut flowers, bright balloons floating around, perfect displays of cut up fruits and vegetables, the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked bread, muffins, pies. How can we get upset with our kids when they are drawn in with such fun and exciting options in this wonderland?
What I learned is that grocery stores strategically plan to create this experience for you so that you buy more stuff and keep coming back for more. So for this reason you need to create your own plan in order to not get sucked into their magical lure of the grocery shopping experience. Here are 3 simple tips to get your plan started:
- Make a list of what you need to buy for the week. Either write it on a piece of paper or use the notes section on your smart phone. I found a free app called shop shop that I use myself. Focus on just buying enough fresh food items to last one week.
- Shop the store's "battle map": You may have heard to shop on the outside aisles of the store, and overall that's a great concept because that's where most of the unprocessed and natural foods are located. I recommend heading to the natural section next for all your dry goods like quinoa, brown rice, and pasta, then finally you may need to enter the "war zone", which is the middle of the store and if you aimlessly start to walk through this zone you are in danger of a kid grenade going off and shopping shifts to negotiating time. To avoid this from happening simply learn the aisles of the store and head straight there and get out as soon as you possibly can! Stay focused and on your mission.
- Set a weekly grocery shopping schedule: Being proactive is everything in keeping your food frenzy in check. Don't let your fridge get empty, having a weekly grocery schedule will go a long way in maintaining calmness in your home. Life can be busy and unpredictable so you can manage that by simply have a two-day window for your weekly shopping, depending on what is happening that week, it gives you the flexibility between those two days and you can take on the week with a fully loaded fridge.
Rule # 3 - Choose Foods with 5 or less ingredients
Eating clean and unprocessed foods will deliver the most optimal results both internally and externally. So if it's possible always buy organic, hormone-free, and gluten free foods. They will be the cleanest foods you can eat. The simplest concept for you to follow and to teach your kids is to look at the ingredients lists. Basically any food that has five or fewer ingredients is relatively clean. Your best choices are always foods with one ingredient, like fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, and fish, as they are preservative free. The more ingredients in a food, the more processed it is and the more junk it has to cause bloating and digestive challenges in your body. Read "Strategies to Mastering Your Meals" for more in depth details. This is an excellent starting point and rule to follow when shopping. It's your choice really, what are your health goals? Base your shopping decisions on your health goals. (Find out your health goal type)