Have you ever wondered why some days seem harder to follow a healthy routine of eating nutritious meals than others? Fortunately, there is a way to set up your kitchen that maintains the integrity of your goal of eating healthy.  Here are some tips to set up your kitchen that make it easier to grab healthier items first. 

Set up the kitchen

preparation

  • When preparing foods or bringing home foods home from the grocery store, pre-cut the vegetables and make a salad without dressing, tomatoes, or avocados. Chopping the tomatoes ahead of time is fine if it is in a separate container.
  • Have a ready-made salad in the fridge. it is essential. It becomes a no brainer for dinner – just grab and serve.
  • Make sure there are no sweetened beverages available. It is fine to have a couple of sparkling waters but juices, sodas, or other sweetened beverages are too easy to grab when hot and thirsty.
  • Have a few bottles of water in the fridge so that there is cold water at your fingertips.  With the exception of a party or celebration, have quality beverages such as a picture of herbal iced tea, water, or milk.

convenience foods

  • Place crackers, cereal, bread and baked goods, and snacks in the back of the pantry. It’s best if they are in containers that you can’t see through.
  • Have healthier, convenience snacks like dehydrated veggies and fruit, meats, or pickled items like pre-packed olives or pickles in the front of the pantry. Ideally they are stored in clear containers, where they can be easily seen, and it makes them easier to choose. 
  • The same holds true for the refrigerator and freezer. Place the items that align with your goals front and center, at eye level. This makes them easier to remember and more likely to get eaten. No more putting fruits and vegetables in the drawer, where they often go to die.

The items that are front and center are food items that will be your first grabs when you are really hungry.  How many times have you simply opened the pantry trying to figure out what to eat? The items that align with your health goals are to be placed in the most convenient space in your pantry. 

open spaces

  • When walking in the kitchen when hungry place a bowl of fruit on your counter, or out in the open. This makes it an easier option to choose.
  • Place your blender on the counter to be a reminder to make a smoothie. Smoothies are an easy way to drink your fruits and veggies. 
  • The toaster should be an appliance that you must get out of a cabinet or drawer every time you need to use it instead of out in the open. The psychology of seeing a blender first over the toaster has better odds of choosing fruit and veggies. 

while eating

  •  While eating, avoid screens or televisions. It’s best to not even have a television in the kitchen to make it easier to avoid screens altogether while eating.
  • Serve salad and veggies first before other items. This is especially helpful advice when serving children. They usually eat everything but their vegetables. When served first while they are hungry, the odds are better that they’ll get eaten. 
  • Have everyone sit until the last person is done eating, so no one is left alone. This ensures that everyone has plenty of time to eat without being rushed which aids in digestion. 

I hope these tips ensure that your family chooses water, fruits, and vegetables first before grabbing other food products which are all too easy to do when very hungry. For more tips on setting up your kitchen for success, schedule your consultation today.

Not home? Not a problem. Check out this blog post about choosing healthy options while out and being social