Did you make promises to yourself in the New Year to improve your diet, lose weight, feed your family healthier food?
If you are struggling to keep those promises, these simple tips are for you! Set yourself up for success in your kitchen rather than beating yourself up for lack of willpower.
Step 1: Remove the Temptations
Add a task to your list this week to clean out your refrigerator and cabinets of all those tempting treats. Replace them with lots of fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, and other healthy snacks that have been cleaned, prepped and packaged in to “ready to eat” containers.
Make individual portions of these snacks ahead of time. Take some time once a week to prepare your snacks in small plastic bags, mason jars, or other easy grab and go containers. If the snacks are ready and waiting for you, you are much less likely to grab for the bag of cookies or chips.
Step 2: Organize your Refrigerator
Now that your refrigerator is nice and clean, take a few more minutes to organize it by category to allow you to easily find what you need, avoid overbuying and reduce waste.
Create a shelf for leftovers. Store leftovers in clear containers and label the contents with the name of the item and the date.
Create a basket to contain all of your lunch making items – bread, deli meat, individual servings of raw veggies, fruit and yogurt.
Add a small bin to your produce drawer to hold all those wonderful fresh herbs that make any meal taste better.
Step 3: Organize your Pantry
Transfer flours, sugars, beans, pastas, and the like to clear containers to allow you to easily see when your inventory is running low as well as to help preserve the life of the ingredients.
If you love oatmeal, create a bin in your pantry with all the ingredients needed to put a yummy, satisfying, and nutritious bowl together each morning – rolled oats, dried fruits and nuts, brown sugar and ground flax seeds.
Don’t forget to label the containers so everyone in your home knows what goes where!
Step 4: Replenish your Inventory
Once you have filled your kitchen with all the healthy ingredients you need to stick to your food goals, make it a snap to maintain your inventory.
Hang a shopping list inside a cabinet door or on your refrigerator so that you can jot down items as soon as they run low. Better yet, create a reusable inventory template organized by the layout of your grocery store which contains a list of all the staples you need and check off the items as they start to run low.
Step 5: Plan Out your Week
Creating a meal plan is one of the most important steps to maintaining a healthier diet. Knowing what food needs to be prepared each night prevents the old “there’s nothing to eat in here” problem.
And when you are feeling tired from a day at work, the last thing you want to do is rifle through cookbooks to figure out what to make only to discover you don’t have the right ingredients.
Set aside some time each Sunday to figure out some simple, yet delicious meals you can make each night of the week. Involve your children by creating a meal planning calendar in your kitchen that they can add their ideas to. Then create your weekly shopping list and hit the store.