Menu Planning and Shopping With Kids (Kroger Shop-a-long)

I’ve been having a lot of fun with the Kraft Fresh Takes recipe challenge.  My kids have had fun helping me and planning what to make with the Rosemary & Roasted Garlic variety.  As part of this campaign, I wanted to show you how I plan my weekly menu, with the help of my kids, and fun game we recently came up with to help keep things interesting and fun while we grocery shop.

It’s been really easy for us to incorporate Kraft Fresh Takes into our weekly menu and pair it with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  For our shopping trip to Smith’s Market, I was given a gift card to use for our groceries.  And boy were we excited to use it!

Before we get to the shopping part, I’ll tell you how we like to plan our weekly menu.

As I said, menu planning is something that I like to get my family involved in.  My kids are starting to develop their own tastes and food preferences and I like to give them a chance to have some input into what we eat each week.  Taking them with me to the grocery store isn’t always fun–for any of us.  There is often whining for candy or other things that aren’t on the list.  “On the list” is a phrase my kids know all too well.  If it’s not “on the list” than we don’t usually put it in the cart.  My son especially has taken an interest then in helping put items “on the list.”

We begin by sitting down together at the table.  Everyone gets to decide what they’d like to eat for one night out of the week.  I choose the other nights, which usually ends up being one night reserved for leftovers or a night out.  I also make sure I can plan a few sides that everyone enjoys because I do have one very picky eater and even though we’re working on not being so picky, it’s nice to have something he’s sure to eat on the menu.

From there I make the grocery list.  I really like the way I organize my list–it has totally worked for me to stay organized when I’m at the store.

I divide my list into three parts:  Menu Item (main or side dishes), We Have (in the pantry or fridge), We Need.

I can’t tell you nice it is when I’m standing in front of an store shelf wondering if I have ______ for a certain recipe and I can glance at my list and know if I already have it on hand.

Now for the fun part  I write the “We Need” item at the top of blank index cards and then divide them between the kids and they get to draw the item on the list.

This has made family trips to the market much more enjoyable!  It keeps the kids busy and helps them learn where to find things in the store.  They also learn which veggies and fruit are which.  If one child doesn’t know what something looks like, another one will and they help each other.

Then it’s time to head to the store.  Sometimes I divide the planning and shopping between different days.  After school isn’t always the best time to go grocery shopping with my kids because they are often tired and cranky.  (I am too!)

I keep the cards in my purse until we get to the store and then everyone gets their cards and they get to be on the lookout for their items.

We usually start in the produce section and I turn them loose to find their items.  My oldest daughter is the most helpful and really enjoys finding the items on her cards.  I think she’s going to be a great cook someday.
I absolutely loved this picture I shared on Instagram of my youngest.  She found the lemons!

We found all of the fresh produce on the list and it was time to find the Kraft Fresh Takes.  You can find it in the dairy/cheese section of your grocery store.

My family has enjoyed the Rosemary & Roasted Garlic flavor.  I can’t wait to share the next two recipes with you.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the next one.  It was a huge hit!

Thanks for joining us on our menu planning and shopping trip to Smith’s!  Be sure to follow along on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram #KraftFreshTakes.


Compensation was provided for this post in conjunction with my participation in the Kraft Fresh Takes campaign.  Opinions expressed are mine and not those of Kraft Foods.

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