We know, we know: A trip to the grocery store without your children can feel almost as indulgent and relaxing as a spa vacation. But while it may be quicker and easier to run in without them, involving your kids in the meal planning process is a great way to get them interested in cooking (and eating) healthy foods, and your children can help with grocery shopping and meal planning from a very early age.
Sit down together over the weekend to plan your dinners for the upcoming week, and ask the kids to help you make your shopping list. ("What ingredients do we need for this recipe? Do we need more cereal? Milk? What would you like to pack in your school lunch this week?") Older school age kids can even be responsible for a short list of their own at the grocery store. (Added bonus: If you time it right, you can send the teenagers to the deli as you cruise through the cereal aisle without anyone begging for Froot Loops.)
To make shopping more fun for everyone (yourself included), check out farmers' markets or farm stands for fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy products and other locally raised foods available each season. You'll be supporting your community and teaching your children the value of buying and eating fresh, unprocessed foods.