Kitchen Makeover Rules

Featured Article,Healthy Cooking Tips,Healthy Home,Healthy Recipes and Nutrition
September 5, 2012

Try these kitchen makeover rules to ensure healthy choices.

Woman eating healthy food in her kitchen.
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If you’re struggling with making good food choices, perhaps it’s time for a kitchen makeover. In fact, the arrangement of your kitchen can affect the food choices you make, and you can actually arrange your food in a manner that will make you more likely to eat healthy.  It’s all about presentation!

Did you ever notice how the brand-name, sugary foods always seem to be right at eye level in the grocery store?  Food marketers pay a lot of money to put their product there. When it’s staring you in the face, tempting you, you’re more likely to buy it. Well, it works, so let’s take this concept and apply it to your kitchen, except in reverse.  Use these tips to give your kitchen a makeover that will make healthy food more appealing and healthy choices easier to make.

1. Make the pantry boring. When looking for something to eat, out of habit, most people gravitate toward the pantry, the place with all the salty, crunchy and sweet stuff. Think about it: The pantry is the place where surprises, quick fixes and carbs live. The fresh, unprocessed food goes in the refrigerator.  So, let’s redirect traffic to the fridge.

Make the pantry boring. Continually stock up on the same things, and keep them in the same place where your family knows to look for them. The healthier options go at eye level, and the less healthy options get put up, away and out of sight (if you don’t just throw them away all together).

Some examples of healthy pantry staples include: packets of raw nuts, high-protein cereal, oatmeal, high-quality protein bars, dried fruit, Wasa crackers, protein powders, instant sugar-free cocoa, whole grain cereal, canned soups/beans, instant pre-cooked brown rice and bags of plain microwave popcorn.

RELATED: Healthy Kitchen Must-Haves 

2. Repackage your food. Anything bought in bulk must be repackaged into individual serving sizes.  When we eat out of large bags or containers, we often lose track of how much we actually consume.  So, nothing stays in the original container.  This way, you will avoid mindless eating.

3. Put the healthy, grab-and-go food at eye level. When we’re hungry, we automatically choose whatever looks good and takes the least amount of prep time. Think like a marketer and showcase your healthy food.  Put it at eye level, and make it ready to eat.

As soon as you unload your groceries, wash, dry, cut and display fruit and veggies in clear, plastic containers at eye level.  Avoid the “crisper” drawer at all costs!  When food goes in that drawer, it ends up rotting before you even know it’s there. Do the same with lean protein: peel hard-boiled eggs and store them in plastic bags, and keep packets of tuna readily available.

When you make healthy food more appealing, you’ll make better choices, stick to your healthy regimen and start forming healthier habits. Before you know it, you’ll actually begin to prefer healthy food over junk!

4. Challenge yourself. Identify a kitchen roadblock or lifestyle challenge that is keeping you from reaching your goals, and then establish a plan to overcome it. One great option is the 30 Days, 30 Ways, 30 Rewards program from Tyson Foods. The 30 Days, 30 Ways, 30 Rewards program shows you how to overcome your particular lifestyle challenge (time-crunched, willpower-challenged, food lover) with customized tips, daily prizes chosen to help you meet your goal, and customized recipes using Tyson® Grilled & Ready® products for versatile, quick, and delicious meals to help you stay on track. Participants can follow one, two or all three of the three people representing the various challenges. Go to http://www.facebook.com/GrilledAndReady/app_481615628517911 and start now! By the end of the month, you’ll have a new routine that’s good for life!