Spring Clean Your Kitchen

Spring has arrived and that means it’s time for some spring cleaning! You might be thinking about cleaning out your closets – swapping out your cold weather clothes for lighter spring and summer items – or cleaning up your yard and planting some flowers. But what kind of shape is your kitchen in? Could it use a little freshening up?

One of the most effective steps you can take to eat more healthfully is to set up your environment to support healthy habits. Here are a few tips to give your kitchen its own spring makeover.

Clean out your fridge, freezer and pantry

Do you know what all those dates on packages really mean? Terms such as sell by, use by, packaged on, all have different meanings. Typically, these dates refer to the quality of a product and not the safety, however if your spices have lost their flavor or your cooking oil has gone rancid they’re not going to be useful anymore. Likewise, if you think certain products are probably going to keep sitting on your shelf unused, you may want to consider donating them to your local food pantry.

Stock up on healthy meal and snack options

Having healthy foods on hand makes it easier to pull together nutritious meals and snacks. Take inventory and make a list of what you need to stock up on such as:

Fruits and Vegetables
In addition to fresh varieties, stock up on frozen, canned and dried options which are just as nutritious but much less perishable, so they will be on hand when you need them. Don’t forget the dried or canned beans – a very versatile vegetable option.
Whole Grains
Dried and packaged rice, quinoa and pasta.
Lean Proteins
Eggs, fresh and frozen poultry, beef and pork, and fresh, frozen or canned fish.
Low-fat Dairy
Milk, yogurt and cheese.
Spices, Herbs, and Condiments
Low calorie and no calorie options can help you meet your goals for healthier eating. Fresh and dried herbs and spices, condiments such as flavored vinegars, mustard, reduced-calorie salad dressings, lemon and lime juice, and low-calorie sweeteners.

Use this list to help you navigate the grocery aisles. Go through your drawers and cabinets and get rid of old, unused and duplicate items, and determine if you need to purchase any new gadgets to make it easier to eat healthfully

Go through your drawers and cabinets and get rid of old, unused and duplicate items, and determine if you need to purchase any new gadgets to make it easier to eat healthfully

Do you really need three vegetable peelers and four spatulas? Do you have enough containers to store leftovers in your refrigerator or freezer? Consider donating items you’re not using and create a wish list of items you’d like to buy. For more information on getting your kitchen organized, check out this book by registered dietitian Jill Weisenberger.

Try this at home! By spring cleaning your kitchen you can make big changes with less effort. Give some of these tips a try and see how much easier it can be to achieve your healthy eating goals.


Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RDN, CDE is a nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist with more than 20 years’ experience helping people enjoy their food with health in mind. Melissa is a certified diabetes educator, a former supermarket dietitian, and also a former national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). She was named Outstanding Dietitian of the Year in Illinois by AND and Outstanding Diabetes Educator of the Year in Chicago by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Melissa is a paid contributor to Sucralose.org. Melissa is the CEO of Sound Bites, Inc. based in Chicago, Illinois, and you can connect with her on Twitter @MelissaJoyRDPinterest, Facebook, and check out her blog at SoundBitesRD.com.


Items of Interest

April 14, 2016 Lifestyle Advice