Today I am going to talk about the Importance of taking kids to market and how it helps your child make healthy choices and also teaches them to eat healthy
Many of you keep asking me how do I ensure that baby A takes his meals properly. He eats fish, chicken, fruits but the one thing we struggle with is vegetables. So for that I have to find ways to include veggies in his roti dough, make cutlets etc etc. Well to be frank, he spends almost half of his day at the daycare so I really don’t have much control over whatever he eats there. Thus, I have to be all the more careful that he gets proper nutrition at home. Now toddlers can be fussy therefore it is important to let them make their own choices and I want him to make healthy choices. This is the reason that I like taking him to the market.
There are multiple benefits of taking him to the market.
1. Healthy Choices start at home:
He learns to make healthy food choices. When he helps us buy fresh fruits and vegetables he is learning that these are imp to be included in his food. Yes he gets to buy his chocolates and crisps too, but he now understands that he can only buy one packet each of these things. And would you believe it; he selects any one chocolate or cookie etc and puts it in the cart. He doesn’t throw a tantrum to buy him the whole aisle and frankly I am quite proud of him!
2. Easier to feed at the table:
It makes it easier to feed him healthy food
When he has selected it on his own and then has helped me cook it. He is thus very excited to eat it. It happens all the time, we go and buy a mango together, we talk about it and he is eager to eat it once we are back home. We bought fish together and I was super thrilled to see him eagerly want to eat his fish fry; Which he also patiently saw me cooking. The point is that it is his choice and all I have to do is teach him to make the healthy choices.
It gives him an Opportunity to learn about fruits & vegetables and so much more
4. Child is exposed to social behaviour:
He Learns to socialise by talking to different people; the vendors, other shoppers etc. He loves to interact with people and we let him do it.
Also read my 15 tips for Time Management for the Working Moms
5. The power of choice:
He is 2; of course I can’t leave all the decisions on him! I mean I know I hardly qualify as a perfect parent but even I know that I can’t let him decide on all major life changing questions. Like which preschool should he go to? But you know what? it is ok if he gets to choose which toy he wants to buy out of the whole lot of toys around. And guess what? What I have seen now is that by explaining to him with love that he can only buy any one toy, I have seen him actually decide and pick up only one. Yes he doesn’t lie on the floor and create a scene to take home the whole shelf of toys. He is happy and satisfied with the one that he picks up, clutches to his heart and takes up to the billing counter. And this happens at Hamley’s guys. ( another story that tall A is behind him clutching a whole basket of toys ?. Him I am not trying to parent anyway! )
6. Respect their decision:
And whatever his choice, respect that. Period. Don’t try to tell him/ her that the other toy is a better developmental game or that the Skull Tshirt may be a bit too much for his class graduation party. Unless of course in case of a toddler like mine, the choice is a set of drums. Then you have every right to walk out the door right then.
7. Concept of Money:
He does understand the concept of money and buying to a certain extent and knows that we need money to buy things. Oh and he calls the ATM the money shop ?.
I am not saying that taking kids to the market can’t be a pain. Trust me I would hate to take him with me, when I go to shop for my clothes. No sir , I prefer going alone if need be. Coz he gets bored there and he definitely won’t let me shop in peace.
In fact at times they can be a pain even at the super market. I know how happy moms when they just get to do a grocery run alone. But with time we have come to a place where we now enjoy shopping in the super markets etc with baby A.
So yes there is hope for us parents Rejoice !
Until next time, Smita