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Ready to go . . . Displaying the new children's shopping lists and stickers are (from left) S.K.I.P project co-ordinator Kirsten Dixon and Northside New World owners Simon and Nicola Hollyer. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

A new Oamaru initiative could transform families’ trips to the supermarket.

While the parents get on with loading their trolleys with groceries, children can look for special items on their own shopping lists.

The venture has been devised by Kirsten Dixon, the project co-ordinator for S.K.I.P. – Strategies with Kids, Information for Parents. Operating from Abacus House under the Safer Waitaki umbrella, it is part of a nationwide network aimed at having all New Zealand children raised positively.

Mrs Dixon said social research she carried out with local families revealed most were anxious about taking their children into the community. They were concerned about their behaviour at places such as the supermarket.

The parents loved the recent Easter egg hunt run by New World supermarkets. It kept their children entertained, rather than being bored or getting into mischief.

Mrs Dixon figured a similar activity could be held year-round. She approached Northside New World co-owner Nicola Hollyer, who did not hesitate to lend support.

Colourful A5-sized sheets have been printed, with space for eight items to be listed by a child.

Mrs Dixon’s focus is children aged 5 and under, who are encouraged to take home a sheet and fill it out by drawing or pasting pictures of the groceries they need.

When the family goes to the supermarket, the children can help to find the items and tick them off the list.

The sheets could also be used by older children. They could learn to plan healthy eating for the week, supermarket co-owner Simon Hollyer said.

The project is being launched at Northside New World this weekend, in time for the start of the new school term.