8 Steps to Surviving the Food Shop with Toddlers

Fruit and Veg area of Supermarket

As I walked around Tesco today, pushing an oversized trolley with two bickering toddlers, grabbing anything within reach this post came to mind.  The seed for this post was first planted by my lovely friend Lisa and most of it has been sat in my drafts folder for quite some time now.  Today though as I muttered “Never again!” repeatedly under my breath I thought I’d best finish it and I take my own advise.

First things first…

Step One: Make a List!

Wandering the aisles thinking “Do I need this?” is not a good way to start!  Preparation is key.  Without a list, chances are you will return home with nothing but blueberries, the contents of the bread aisles, handfuls of hair in your hands and the tell tale symphony of clinking wine bottles as you try and balance the kids, carry the bags and open the front door all at the same time.

Step Two:  Time your shop around nap times.

No-one wants to face a busy supermarket with over tired tots.  Let’s face it it’s not going to be an enjoyable experience anyways.  A few cranky toddlers in the mix and you can add referee to your CV.  You’ll make over exaggerated statements of “Please sit down darling, Mummy doesn’t want you to fall,” to the kids. You’re not really talking to the kids though, your gentle tone is meant for any earwiggers casting you with the ‘Shit Mummy’ brush when what you really want to do is abandon the food shop drag everyone to the car and have take away for dinner!

Step Three: Don’t over think it.

Relax it’ll be fine.  It’s the kids meant to have the melt downs not you.  Take deep breaths you don’t want to lose your rag at the Childless Numpty parked in the last Parent and Child space.  I know, I know hard not too!  I don’t think I can say much more about this point, it makes me too mad!

Step Four: Bring Snacks

I have to give my local Tesco in Enniskillen a little shout out here.  I think this happens across all Tesco stores but our local one provides free fruit for the kids while you shop.  If you have kids who love fruit it’s a complete winner!  Keeping little hands and mouths busy saves a lot of shouting and grabbing.  Unfortunately today was a rare occurrence, there was no fruit available and as a big fail on my behalf I hadn’t brought back ups.  Disaster!  Need I say more?

Step Five: Push the trolley down the middle of the aisle.

Now I know this might be an awkward one because those trollies have minds of their own sometimes. But try. Try really hard. No one wants a hefty bill for damages or have to buy the 12 pack of donuts cause tot #1 has grabbed the box from the shelf and tot #2 has tucked in whilst you pondered over which bread had the least carbs.

Step Six: Don’t stop to chat:

Time is limited.  A bit like a ticking time bomb.  The snacks are not never ending and eventually they will run out.  Probably just as you join the five deep queue and there are magazines right in grabbing distance with a free piece of plastic that one kid will wave around for ten minutes and the other will choke on given half a chance.

Step Seven: Under no circumstances route through the toy aisle.

Well you have been warned!  If you venture this way you can be sure the kids will think you have signed them up for a new series of Supermarket Sweep and if you manage to leave without having to purchase some random glow in the dark ball or a pot of slim that’s gonna be stuck to your sofa later, please get in touch!  Let me know how you managed it!


How do you cope with the food shop?  Anything to add?



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6 thoughts on “8 Steps to Surviving the Food Shop with Toddlers

Add yours

  1. Hahaha! I love it. OMG, and you would think shopping would get easier, but it doesn’t. Ever! Loving all these tips, but I must admit that the food shop gives me way too many wobbles and we have been shopping online for a good couple of years now. All in the name of avoiding supermarket meltdowns. On the occasions we have popped into the shop, we tend to come out red faced and cursing never again! Thanks so much for joining us for the #DreamTeam xx


  2. Online has really saved us as a family. The apples may be crap, and other things are a bit squish, but there is more food and a lot less crabbiness all around! #dreamteam Thank you for the tips ! xoxo


  3. Argh the stressful shop!! Makes me so angry how the shops (not only food shops) put all the goodies at child height along the checkout!!! Grrr


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