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canned lima beans taste bad and other lessons from the grocery store

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store, teaching kids to give

A couple of weeks ago, our church’s bulletin contained a blurb about the new, permanent food pantry going up in our lobby. Members have the opportunity fill the pantry weekly, and then, the contents of the pantry are donated to a local public school.

Nice.

However, I’ve come to realize if I just go to the store and buy this and that for the pantry with little thought, it doesn’t really help my kids learn anything about serving  because while I’m racing around the grocery store looking for canned meats and peanut butter, my kids  are chopping on free cookies from the bakery. I don’t learn much (except where the canned meat is). They don’t learn much (except that peanut butter, bakery cookies are better than sugar cookies with sprinkles).

Solution: Give the kids the list of needed items and have them build a meal.

The result? Less yapping by me and more learning by them. Just what are my kiddos learning from putting together one meal? So glad you asked.

  • The word “perishable”.
  • That kids in their school district don’t have enough to eat.
  • The difference between name brand and store brand.
  • Rice is cheap, but not fun to eat. Mac and cheese is yummy, but more expensive.
  • Fresh fruit isn’t an option for many families.
  • Gross food is often inexpensive (No thank you, $.77, generic, lima beans).
  • There are people who can’t buy what they want in the grocery store.
  • Salad won’t stay fresh in a food pantry.
  • Sadly, neither will bread.
  • Breakfast bars don’t make a tasty breakfast.

It’s funny how much you can teach your kids about giving when you decide to get out of the way.

Image credit.

 

 

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Amy L. Sullivan
SERVE Editor Word lover. Book devourer. Music addict. Amy is a Northern girl who found herself living in the South. She drinks sweet tea, turns her nose up at okra, and attempts to tell her daughters "yella" isn't a color.
  • Patricia W Hunter

    Excellent idea, Amy.

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLSullivan1 Amy L. Sullivan

    Thanks, Patricia! They enjoyed it.

  • Ro elliott

    Amy…this wonderful wisdom….isn’t God faithful to parent us so we can parent our children….blessing to you

  • http://www.facebook.com/JillRichardson12345 Jill Richardson

    Oh, I learn this practically every day. Thanks for the insight!

  • http://twitter.com/aboutproximity Lisa Van Engen

    Excellent insights Amy!

  • http://sandraheskaking.com/ Sandra Heska King

    Whoa!

    And might I say I’ve been guilty of combing through my cupboards for stuff I don’t want/like…

  • Jen Ferguson

    I think this is a great idea. But, at the same time, it just kills me that this is such the reality of life.

  • http://guidingvision.com Sandra Sims

    Thank you for sharing Amy. I love how the routine act of going to the grocery store can be a learning time for kids.

  • http://twitter.com/lorimcspeaks Lori McClure

    I can just picture you three zooming around the store, and lima beans? They are always a bad choice :) Thank you for yet another gentle reminder to just do something.

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLSullivan1 Amy L. Sullivan

    Jill, I am a talker, and more I talk, the more my kids space out! So nice to see them learning without me telling them what they are suppossed to learn. Ha!

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLSullivan1 Amy L. Sullivan

    Sandra,
    I’m guilty too. Sure, I’m going to give away the lima beans and the waxed beans and the off brand fruit cocktail. Blah!

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLSullivan1 Amy L. Sullivan

    Thanks for taking the time to read, Lisa!

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLSullivan1 Amy L. Sullivan

    Sandra,
    Right! So often we think we don’t have time to serve, but often we can combine serving with what we are already doing.

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLSullivan1 Amy L. Sullivan

    I know. It’s hard to imagine…especially when the kids who are hungry don’t “look the part” (whatever that part may be). One of the kids I taught a few years ago came to me once and said the only food he had in his house for the last three days was potatoes. I almost fell over. I never would have guessed.

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLSullivan1 Amy L. Sullivan

    Our family doesn’t exactly zoom around the store, especially since Ruby still insists on riding in the car cart. Go ahead and pity me…that car cart is a beast!

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLSullivan1 Amy L. Sullivan

    Ro, A perfect description, “parenting us so we can parent them”. Yes!

  • Soulstops

    Another great teaching moment…Thank you, Amy :)

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLSullivan1 Amy L. Sullivan

    Dolly,
    I appreciate you reading, lady.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1103139415 Lorretta Stembridge

    FANTASTIC!!!! Way to go Mom!

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLSullivan1 Amy L. Sullivan

    Loretta,
    Thanks! I don’t always capture those moments the best way, but this one sure was fun!

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