Parents tips for shopping to avoid pestering

A study carried out in Australian supermarkets asked parents about supermarket shopping with children and how they coped with pester power. These are some of the suggestions they had for coping.

• Avoid shopping with children when possible.
• In situations where parents need to shop with their children, avoid the larger supermarkets and use smaller, specialty shops, or choose smaller supermarkets that have less choice, and less marketing directed towards children.
• Avoid junk food aisles in the supermarket and shop with a purpose.
• Ensure that children have eaten before or have a healthy snack they could consume while shopping.
• Be consistent in your response to requests for foods.
• Involve children in the shopping experience. This helps distract children, reduces boredom and provides an opportunity for learning.
• Give them some choice in the food (e.g. picking the shape of pasta).
• Use a shopping list. Children can assist by marking off the list and the list can be used to refuse a request not on it.
• Setting boundaries at a young age was one technique that was seen as effective in reducing pestering behaviour.


Campbell S, James EL, Stacey FG, Bowman J, Chapman K, Kelly B. A mixed-method examination of food marketing directed towards children in Australian supermarkets. Health Promotion International 2014 Jun;29(2):267-77
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