PARENTING: Is this why your child throws a tantrum in the supermarket?

28 January 2016
Reading time2 mins

Supermarket shopping with tiny people. It’s enough to make any grown person shudder. But, put yourselves in the shoes of your little one and it might make things easier.

Imagine you’re a little person. You’ve had a busy day climbing, painting, reading, running, eating lunch.

Then mum takes you to the supermarket.

You’re tired, even a little peckish. Mum doesn’t want to be doing the shopping and her face is cranky. She’s rushing out of the car, putting you in the trolley, and all of a sudden you’re under the bright lights of the supermarket with about 1000 different coloured products blaring at you. Mum’s pushing you along, and she’s going fast because she has to be somewhere else in half an hour.

You see something awesome and really just want to stop and touch it to see what it is, but mum snaps ‘No’ and makes you sit down in your seat and keeps pushing the trolley really fast.

Strangers you’ve never met before are walking past and smiling or frowning at you, and oh look, there’s a nice person your age who has a cool toy he’s playing with. You shout out “Hi, cool toy” in your own language, but mum gets cross and tells you to be quiet and sit down in the trolley.

You’re a bit hungrier now and would love a piece of apple. You see mum has apples in the trolley so you reach down and try with all your might to get one because you’re hungry, but you have little arms and they are tired from playing at the park for the last hour, so you start to get frustrated. You get angry and mum’s face gets angrier too. She shouts at you to stop whining and keeps pushing the trolley really fast. You really would like to just sit with mum at home and watch Play School. You haven’t had a hug for a couple of hours because it’s been a busy day and mum is a bit stressed …

Sounds overwhelming, right?

You know, if I was a two year old, I wouldn’t like going grocery shopping either.

As an adult, grocery shopping is hard, so imagine being a kid with all of that stimulation, tiredness and inquisitiveness going on, whilst at the same time being bundled up in a moving supermarket trolley with a parent who doesn’t want to be there (and is trying to get in and out as quick as they can).

So, the next time you venture out to do the food shopping with your baby in tow, remind yourself that it’s not a race.

Take the time to breathe, and slow down.

Talk to your little one about the food you are buying. Involve them in the process.

Talk about what you are going to cook.

Make it fun.

Being less frantic might just make it more enjoyable for the both of you.

What do you think?

Written by

Tara Leong

Tara Leong is a university-qualified nutritionist renowned for her no-nonsense approach to nutrition and health. A new mum and keen cook, she debunks popular nutrition myths, teaching people how to live a healthy life without the fad diets. Tara is passionate about advocating a fear-free and guilt-free way of eating because life is too short not to enjoy a slice of chocolate cake. Find Tara on Facebook at The Nutrition Guru and the Chef and at Baby Guru Nutrition. To book a consultation with Tara, head to

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