4 Smart Ways to Organize Your Kitchen for Healthier Eating

By Guest

Are you trying to eat healthier? It’s hard to eat healthier when there’s an open bag of sugary or salty snacks sitting on the kitchen counter. And how can you cook healthy dinners when you don’t have the best ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator?

Many of us have the best of intentions to eat better, but we slide back into old patterns despite our good intentions. Why? Because we didn’t take the time to set ourselves up to succeed. Here’s how better planning and organization in the kitchen can help make your healthy-eating stick.

1. Rearrange for Better Efficiency

Make it easier to prepare meals by reorganizing your kitchen. Start by clearing countertops so you have more room to work. Remove everything and then put back only what you use regularly, such as the coffeemaker, and a bowl for fruit. Find a home for everything else.

Store pots, pans and utensils near the stove so they are more convenient to where you use them. In cabinets and drawers, store things you rarely use at the back, leaving room at the front for easier access to the things you use often. Donate kitchen items you don’t use at all to create more storage space.

2. Declutter Your Pantry

Do you know where to find that box of raisins even before you open the door to your pantry? If you have to look for it, there’s a good chance you’ll end up grabbing a less-healthy choice. Speaking of which, the best way not to succumb to the temptation of junk food is to not have any in the house.

Set up zones for cereals and breakfast items, soups, grains, crackers, baking supplies and other like items. Make it even easier to see what you have and find what you want by keeping the healthiest choices visible.

Arrange items with labels facing out. Add inexpensive organizing solutions such as freestanding shelves and tiered shelf risers. Consider storing dry goods in clear plastic or glass modular containers that not only take up less room but also help to keep things fresher, longer.

3. Organize Your Fridge

It’s so disappointing when leftovers spoil because they got lost or forgotten, especially when you were planning to have them for lunch or dinner. Store all leftovers on one shelf of your refrigerator. To prolong the life of fruits and vegetables, store them unwashed. Consider purchasing special, reusable “green bags” to further extend their shelf life.

Stock up on healthy snacks and lunch fixings, and organize them by group. Fill your deli bin with healthy, ready-to-eat foods such as hard-boiled eggs, nitrate-free deli meats, and cheese. Fill your produce bin with cut up-celery and carrots, sugar snap peas, peppers, hummus and apples. Have healthy fruits and vegetables at eye level so you pick them first. the door of the fridge doesn't always have to be used for jars, you can fill the door with fruit too.

For more healthy fridge snack ideas

3. Plan and Prep Meals

If you have to think about what’s for dinner after a hectic day, you’re more likely to make unhealthy choices. Plan a week of meals and post the plan on the refrigerator. Start with meals using ingredients you already have in your pantry, fridge or freezer.

Keep it simple with simple recipes that require 20 minutes or less to prepare. Or do an online search for “five-ingredient recipes.” Consider using your slow cooker to prepare at least one meal. Double another recipe so you can have leftovers for lunch or extras to freeze for a quick dinner another night.

Check out some of our healthy recipes

4. Keep a Running Grocery List

You know it’s a bad idea to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, right? Almost as bad is going shopping without a list. (Oh, look! A buy-one-get-one-free offer on ice cream!) Having a list will also get you in and out of the store faster so you’ll be less tempted to buy something you’ll later wish you hadn’t.

Don’t wait until it’s time to go shopping to write your list. As you use up or run low on items, add them to your grocery list. You can use a sheet of paper or use a smartphone app where everyone in the family can add to the list and you will have it with you at the store. Keep your list handy when you’re planning meals to ensure that you will have all the ingredients you need to start eating healthier today.

Award-winning organizing and cleaning expert Donna Smallin Kuper is the author of a dozen best-selling books on uncluttering, organizing, cleaning and simplifying life. Currently writing for Home Depot, Donna is often quoted by the media and has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple and Woman’s Day.If you want to start organizing what you eat, you can find options for different types of refrigerators at Home Depot's website.

By Guest| April 09, 2017
Categories:  Live

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