Our Philosophy

As we all navigate through our daily lives, challenges, disappointments, health crises, physical injuries and emotional stresses find their way into our realities. Often supports that could assist us through these events and situations are not easily found nor readily available to us. It is the philosophy of Fairmount Associates that emotional supports should be readily available, easily accessible and financially reasonable for everyone.

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Tel: (215) 236-6100
Fax: (215) 236-6302
Email: fairmountassociates@yahoo.com

2542 "A" Brown Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Grocery Shopping as an Adventure

Dread Grocery Shopping with Your Kids? Make it Fun- for Everyone!
By: Jeanie Snodgrass Almo, MSN

Let's face it, getting someone to watch the kids every time you need to go grocery shopping isn't realistic. So you pack the kids up and head off to the supermarket with an impending sense of dread- gotta' avoid the candy isle, gotta' stay away from the glass displays or the pyramids of boxes, etc.

But it really doesn't have to be that way,...REALLY!

Once the baby is big enough to be out of the baby pack or the carrier strapped to your cart, you can begin to make shopping fun AND educational at almost any age! The trick is to make games out of the five senses: touch, smell, sight, hearing, and in some instances, even taste (unless it needs to be weighed at the checkout).

Babies up to 14 months are interested in movement, colors, textures, sounds- and of course taste. The trick is to keep talking and showing items to your little one, - show them things that are different colors, different shapes, have different textures (e.g. yellow bananas, green apples or other produce, blue glass cleaner, sponges with various textures). Almost any product can be a fascinating source of conversation- as one sided as it may seem. But show the item, say its name, its color, when possible let the baby touch it and see how it feels- rough, smooth; is it shiny or dull, when you shake it does it make a noise (cereal and nuts are great entertainers, especially since most are in non-breakable containers). Even if they may not understand exactly what you're talking about, you are talking to them, making eye contact, smiling (hopefully) and that's what is most engaging for this age.

Little ones up to age 2 years of age really get into colors, shapes, smells, textures: when you can, let them hold the item, and keep talking. They can hold safe non-edible items such as sponges, small plastic lemon juice bottles, even a real lemon or lime- if they drop or toss these items, nothing breaks.

For the preschoolers, let them put items into your cart or plastic bag- cereal boxes, pieces of fruit or vegetables, small boxes of rice or other light-weight non-breakable items. As they get older, set out as if on a treasure hunt: "I'm looking for something that is yellow, that you can eat, that is small and round," or "something that comes in a can, has a picture of a vegetable (or fruit) on the label, and is red (or orange, or green, etc.)" Talk about how the food is used: as something that gives your cereal flavor; that Mom cooks with to make...; that we put on bread; that Mom uses to make your sandwiches or puts in your lunch or snack box, etc.

Once the little guys are in school and aren't so little, ask them to identify the item you're looking for, and check numbers, prices, weight (even if they can't read the scales, let them see how far the "needle" goes up or down as you put extra items in or take some out). Talk about how the specific foods "make you healthier" (spinach, green beans, eggs, lean meats, yogurt, nuts and fruits), and begin to help your children understand that while some foods may taste really great, they are not good for you if you eat too much of them (e.g. candies, cookies, cupcakes, butter, bacon, etc.).

Young elementary school age kids are not too young to begin to check out the nutrition of various items: have them look for the ingredients, calories, fat content, amount of protein or vitamins. Have them check prices to learn how to shop for bargains: what does one brand cost per pound vs. another brand; are sales really good deals if they cost more than the store brand, etc. This may seem like too much trouble when you're already tired. But try it: putting in a little more effort can bring really great rewards for both you and your children, and make a mundane trip to the store an educational treasure hunt! And what better way to help them learn about nutrition and smart shopping? And a smart idea: Bring along a small baggie of healthy snacks such as cheerios, granola, grapes, or nuts to keep the kids from wanting to eat everything they see, especially at the check out counter! And HAVE FUN! When my now 29yo daughter was about five years old, she used to ask: "Isn't time yet for us to go shopping again?"

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