When it comes to grocery shopping, you’d most likely rather leave the kids at home. Ideally, the other parent could watch them, or you can leave them with grandma or grandpa. However, if we lived in an ideal world, the groceries would just be delivered to us (and even better yet, cooked for us).

So what do you do when you’re faced with lugging the little one around in the child seat of the shopping cart? The answer may be as close as your pocket or purse.

With a couple of carefully selected apps, your iPhone can not only help keep your child entertained, but maybe learn a thing or two along the way.

Kids love to play grown-up. What better way to do so than by playing cashier for all of the groceries you add to the cart?

Kids Scanner is a nifty little app that will pick up anything in the iDevice’s camera (barcoded or not) and randomly assign a price for it. Once all the shopping is done, you can cash out and use a fake credit card and pin number to complete the transaction.

Another app for playing pretend is Kid Cart. Kids can make shopping lists and go “shopping,” working on counting and reading skills along the way.

If you want to add an accountability piece, you can have your child research which foods would be a healthier choice. Fooducate will reveal different information about foods that you scan.

Educate yourself with Fooducate.

Everything from nutritional value to the food’s pros and cons is at your child’s fingertips. Asking follow up questions like, “Which one do you think is healthier, and why?” is a great way to challenge his or her critical thinking skills. Of course, you may want to save this one for the kids who can’t fit in the child seat of a shopping cart.

If your child is looking for a game to play, Awesome Eats is entertaining and educational at the same time. Stack food across crazy conveyor belts, learning healthy eating tips along the way.

Awesome Eats is awesome to play.

One app that doesn’t exist yet, but looks super promising is an augmented reality app called Taggie. Apparently you point your iDevice at a piece of produce’s barcode and it will show you how it grows. There’s no indication of when this app may go live, but it seems like something to look forward to.

Hopefully your handy dandy iDevice can help keep your child occupied while you can focus on shopping. With this selection of apps, you can also get the double-whammy effect of teaching something new at the same time.
Have you had success using your iDevice during shopping trips to keep your child occupied?