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Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.
New Year’s Resolutions Should
Start in the Pantry
your pantry and you’ll be opening the key to keeping some of your
New Year’s resolutions.
Are you planning to get fit? Are you
hoping to lose weight? Do want your family to be healthier?
If you answered yes, then join the
crowd. Those are some of the top ten New Year’s Resolutions. To keep
those, you need to add one more. Another of the top ten promises is
to get organized.
Resolve to get organized?
Getting organized, getting fit and
losing weight all tie together in that pantry.
Think about some of the consequences
to a disorganized pantry.
You come home from work and have
every intention of making a healthy meal but then you discover
you are short several ingredients. Too exhausted, you plop on
the sofa and dial up some pizza.
The kids run in from school
starving. They head to the pantry and grab the first easy thing.
Before you can count to two, they are eating sugary cereal out
of the box or grabbing chips or prepackaged cupcakes.
By the time you have checked and
double checked that everyone is ready to head out the door in
the morning, you simply don’t have time to make breakfast so you
skip a meal and pack on the calories at lunch.
Resolve to eat better, get fit, or have a healthier family?
Organizing your pantry benefits all of
Take the time to organize your pantry
by food type. Inexpensive plastic baskets will do the trick. Put
together your pastas, rice, snacks, and breakfast items. Stack your
canned fruits and vegetables together. Place items purchased for
meal preparation together. After sorting out your pantry, it will be
easy to glance and see what needs to be added to your shopping list.
your breakfast items together makes it easier for you to grab
something to take with you or make a quick breakfast. Rethink your
breakfast when you restock your pantry. Add wholegrain cereal bars
and a basket with pieces of fruit. Buy packets of instant oatmeal
but add your own sugar-free sweetener or a dollop of no-sugar added
Rethink family snacking, both for the
health of the kids and for yourself. Organize the pantry for health.
Fill snack baskets with approved snacks. Everyone wants to grab what
is fast. Stock up on raisins and dried fruit, low-calorie
“snack-size” microwave popcorn, nuts, peanut butter and whole grain
crackers, rice cakes, or pretzels. Combine some of these items into
a canister of healthy trail mix. For example, whole grain oat cereal
tossed with dried cranberries and pretzel sticks. Put the
bad-for-you but oh-so-good treats up high and out of sight. Make
that brownie mix or taco chips a once-a-week treat instead of a
daily grab and gobble.
Resolve to spend less?
If you had a New Year’s resolution to
spend less, you can also begin to work on that promise by reaching
into the pantry. Organizing the pantry means less runs to the store
and less impulse spending. It means have the ingredients on hand so
you are less tempted to run through out for fast food. It means
using up ingredients instead of letting them grow old, tossing them
out and buying new.
Did you resolve to spend more family
time? If so, once again your pantry is your friend. Stocking and
organizing it with healthy meal ingredients, that is easy to
prepare, means being able to gather around the table more often.
Resolve to be more giving?
If 2008 brings resolve to help others,
take a peak in your pantry. When you organize and find more
duplicate food items than you can use, donate them to your local
food bank. If you are fortunate to be able to have a pantry to
organize and the funds to stock it with healthy foods as part of
your resolution, take the time to buy a few extra healthy staples
for your local food bank. Opening your pantry can help you open your