When you’re ready to make the move to new eating habits, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks for getting started off on the right foot by setting your kitchen space up for quick, healthy meals.
1. ORGANIZE YOUR FRIDGE AND PANTRY
It’s impossible to cook efficiently when you don’t even know where your salt shaker is! When you want to eat healthier, start by clearing out the old to make way for the new. Throw out any expired food items, condiments, and pantry staples first?then take stock of what you have left. If it matches your healthy lifestyle, organize it, and if not, consider donating to others in need.
2. STOCK UP ON ESSENTIALS BEFOREHAND
Once you know what you are dealing with in your pantry and fridge, you’ll be able to make a list of the essentials you need for basic, healthy meals. That can save you a lot of time cooking and help you avoid giving into temptations like ordering takeout or heading out to your favorite restaurant instead of spending time making a homecooked meal.
3. PUT YOUR GARDENING SKILLS TO USE
Whether you have a green thumb, or you’ve never set foot in a garden, it is easy and beneficial to make the time to start a mini herb garden in your home! Use windowsill pots, shelving, or mason jars to attractively display fresh herbs that can put a springtime burst of flavor into your healthy recipes.
4. ASSESS YOUR STORAGE SITUATION
Fresh food can go bad much quicker than processed food, so you need to have a plan in place to keep your produce and other essential items fresh. Clear and glass containers are popular, as well as vented storage containers for fruit and veggies. Just make sure to wash all produce well beforehand and label your storage container with a date!
5. SET UP YOUR APPLIANCES FOR SUCCESS
There are plenty of small appliances that can speed-up your healthy meal prep. However, simply having the appliances doesn’t mean you’ll use them! To get the most out of your mealtime, find key places in your kitchen that are easily accessible for the appliances you use most, or consider custom appliance cabinetry to give them their own space without cluttering up your kitchen.
6. FOCUS ON BEAUTY AND PRESENTATION
The appearance of food plays a major role in how appetizing it is, and you can bring a touch of elegance into your meals by presenting food in a way that you think is beautiful. You can also arrange fresh fruit and healthy snacks in attractive displays right on your table or counter to get a beautiful centerpiece and easy access to a quick bite!
7. CHANGE-UP YOUR DINNER DISHES
It may seem simple, but sometimes just the visual of a full plate of food can make a big impact on you feeling satisfied with the meal?even if the portion sizes are smaller than what you’re used to. To make that a reality in your kitchen, swap your standard dishes with smaller-sized plates and bowls?this is also the perfect time to pick a new color or pattern that you love!
8. KEEP READY-TO-EAT SNACKS ON-HAND
When planning out your meals for the week, make it a point to prep some easy, healthy snacks so they are ready to go on a moment’s notice. The next step?make an inventory list of what snacks you have on-hand (dry erase boards and chalkboards work great!), so you never have to stand in the kitchen hungry and frustrated.
9. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS WITH A NO-PHONE ZONE
When we are in the moment during meals, it is much easier to eat slowly?savoring both the food and the company that you’re with. As part of your lifestyle change, make your kitchen a no-phone zone for all members of your family, and keep the focus on conversation and building bonds with family and friends.
10. KEEP TREATS OUT OF SIGHT AND OUT OF MIND
You shouldn’t feel deprived when transitioning to a healthier eating style, but you also shouldn’t have to deal with delicious treats and snacks taunting you when you walk in the kitchen. Keep a few of your favorite treats on-hand if you’d like, but make sure that they are out of reach in a specific drawer or top shelf where you won’t see them every day.
11. STOCK YOUR SPACE WITH NEW RECIPES AND COOKBOOKS
Just because you are eating healthy doesn’t mean that healthy eating has to be boring! You won’t have to live on baked chicken, rice, and lettuce to keep your dietary goals on track?instead, take this opportunity to make a few recipes you always wanted to try, pick up some new cookbooks, or take a cooking class to learn new, exciting techniques!