Family mealtime doesn't start at the dinner table. It starts in the kitchen, and for some families, even before then: at the market, shopping together. Here's what one mother of three, Lisa, had to say about how her kids help with the groceries:
"My children always go shopping with me and I do let them help do the shopping. My eight year old daughter is in charge of the list. She writes the list as I tell her what we need. My five and six year olds help check the inventory of toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, etc. They also check the stock of cereal and pancake mix as well as count eggs to see how many are left. They are all big helpers, and I think it is fun and educational for them. After we get to the store they help count tomatoes and apples, etc. My oldest crosses the items off the list as we get them. I am in charge of the calculator just to be sure we get the right total. (LOL!) I tell them how much we can spend and after we get everything on the list, if there is anything left, then they can each pick one treat for helping."
This is an edited and updated archive of pages originally published in 1997.
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Modified August 2007
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