Be transparent about your thinking

As a parent, grocery shopping is part of your weekly routine – and as family life can be stressful enough, you may not want to lose too much time on it. But when choosing food, we make many decisions within seconds, even if we are often not aware of this. Every now and then, let your child help decide what to buy and ask them questions when the opportunity arises.

Strawberry economics

If you shop seasonally, you and your child can visit the fruit and vegetable section the whole year round. Before you set off, it’s best to discuss with your child which vegetables and fruits are currently in season in Switzerland. Search for seasonal products together. Who can find the most locally grown zucchini? And what are the benefits of buying local produce? How do prices change when fruit is in season?

Strawberries are generally a good example here. The first batches tend to be expensive in March but considerably cheaper in May. Together with your child, monitor the price of fruit such as strawberries over a period of months.

The global picture

Many delicious fruits come from other continents. Does your child know which ones? And how they get to Switzerland? Instead of helping your child with all the answers, let them find Brazil or South Africa on a map themselves.

What is organic produce and why is it more expensive?

Even a cursory glance at the egg section reveals that not all eggs are the same. Which should I buy? Cheap, non-branded imported eggs, organic or Demeter? Take a look at the different production methods and compare the prices. Your child will soon realize that the better the chickens and the environment are treated, the higher the price. But why is this? Think about this together, without you answering all of the questions immediately.

The main points in a nutshell:

  • Daily grocery shopping involves many decisions. Let your child take part.
  • Tell each other what you think about the different items you purchase. Why do I decide to buy a particular product?
  • Talk to your children about which fruit and vegetables grow when. Where do they come from and how are they transported?
  • Ask interesting questions while shopping, without answering them all yourself. Research together when you don’t know the answer.
  • Food is only one area in which we can use resources environmentally friendly.

UBS’s educational principles

UBS’s educational principles

This article was written in collaboration with educator Marianne Heller, who has years of experience in teaching financial education and debt prevention programs for children and young people.

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