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Top Kid Friendly Grocery Stores

June 19, 2012

Grocery shopping with small kids can be tough and stressful.  Especially for a parent who has to herd several small ones on a trip.  Most grocery store aisles and checkout lanes tempt children with candy, gum, toys, junk food, and more.   While great for the retailer this can add stress and conflict for families.  There are grocery stores that are making an effort to reduce the stress for parents by adding family friendly amenities, encouraging healthy nutritional habits, and making the shopping experience fun.  Here’s our top pick for family friendly grocery chains with some examples of specific stores including their KidScores™.

  1. Whole Foods Market – Whole Foods are located throughout the United States with over 300 stores.  They offer a wide variety of organic, natural, and healthy foods.  Most of their stores get a high KidScore for amenities like family restrooms with changing tables, cleanliness and sanitation, high quality products, customer education on natural products, kids play areas, fun kids carts (like cars with steering wheels), green and sustainable features, and great kid products.  When our General Manager recently visited the new Whole Foods in Lynnwood WA has a KidScore of 89 near Seattle with his toddler, he was pleasantly surprised that the play area was stocked with Green toys, clean, and at checkout they had a wagon where the checker let his son pick out a free organic fruit item.  They also get points for high quality tasty items.  While customers will pay a premium there are sales and specials you can take advantage of.

    Area behind checkout counter at Whole Foods in Lynnwood WA. Children can pick one free produce item from the wagon and enjoy the nice play area with BPA free toys.

  2. Fred Meyer– Fred Meyer gets high ratings for kid-friendly amenities, price, sustainability, and being a one stop shop with grocery, clothes, toys, garden, home products, and Fuel. (Saving busy moms time, energy, and gasoline).  Most stores offer free on-site child care for up to an hour in a clean, secure play area. They have a nice bracelet system to ensure children are not released to anyone but the person who dropped them off. The play area is in located in the front of the store.  Both male and female restrooms have changing tables.  We like that Fred Meyer has family friendly checkout isles without the candy and other kid temptations and an organic section with good deals on bulk items.  Some store have green features like sky lights that work with lights that turn off on sunny days and electric car charging stations that are free.   Most Fred Meyer locations in KidScore have scores above 70.

    Fred Meyer stores have a play area, changing stations in male and female restrooms, fun kid carts, sani-wipes, and family friendly checkout lanes.

  3. PCC– While only a Puget Sound area chain we decide to include them as a good example of what other local grocery stores can do.  PCC is most similar to Whole Foods in products, organic selection and quality.  They have a great food bar with large selection of healthy items that is usually packed with the lunch and dinner crowd.  Several KidScore employees rate the quality of East Indian, Thai, and other ethnic dishes to those found in top quality Seattle restaurants.  PCC has a good testing system in place to identify and help parents and families get educated on natural and organic products.  The “All Kid Picks” items in stores have been approved by at least 2/3 of their kid “judges” making the Kid Picks label a reliable indicator that kids are likely to enjoy that particular food or product.  Kids Picks items are easy to spot when shopping as each is flagged with a bright orange tag bearing the Kid Pick logo.  The Edmonds WA PCC gets a high KidScore of 85, the addition of an EV charging station helps with  bonus points for sustainability.
  4. Trader Joe’s with average KidScore of 75– With stores nationwide, Trader Joe’s can be described as a mix between grocery and chain convince store without brand name products.  It is possible to knock out most of your food shopping at one store.  We love Trader Joe’s for great quality food products many imported at a great price.  Trader Joe’s give the middle class family access to yummy, healthy, and organic items.  Some stores have a coloring area for kids but the main reason for a high KidScore on most stores are due to product and mom recommendations.

Different place locations can have different KidScore ratings, be sure to search for the store in your city to find its KidScore and don’t hesitate to write a review for feedback to fine tune their score.

Do you have a recommendation for a kid-friendly store in your neighborhood?  If so, let us know which and why by searching for it on KidScore and writing a review.

Ali Alami,

CEO and Father of a 2 year old

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