Have you ever thought about how the way you have your food placed in your refrigerator impacts your and your family's food selections? If you haven't then you are not using an excellent technique when it comes to achieving your healthy eating goals.
In a perfect world. we would take advantage of our refrigerator crispers for optimum freshness and food longevity. BUT, I have found when working with families, and even in my own family, that crispers hide what we should be eating more of and things often go bad before they are consumed. So, I say that we should take those "always" foods out of the crispers and put them at eye level. Have them washed and ready to eat! Everyone wants "fast food" when they are ready to eat so get those always foods ready to eat - fast. Have healthy dips ready to grab and go that will add some protein and/or healthy fats. Take your meat and put it in a refrigerator drawer, as these are things you don't grab at random. As you can, take fresh foods out of packages and put them in glass containers so they are more visually appealling. Natural foods are so incredibly beautiful! Take advantage of that and stimulate the senses with foods of varied colors. Often I pay more for produce items that are already washed and ready to go for convenience. My husband and I work full-time and both of my children are in competitive sports running here and there to practices, tournaments and competitions. I know firsthand how life can be pulling you in different directions! More than ever, grocers are doing much of the work for families. Utilize those conveniences so you can have more home meals. Invest in your health now so you don't have to pay more in so much more later.
My big go-to's are lactose-free milk (I'm horribly lactose intolerant, but absolutely love milk) and lactose-free cottage cheese. Those two things are always in my refrigerator for easy access. I also grab a new food item each week that we don't normally eat. This week I have red chard, which I found absolutely beautiful when exploring the produce area this week. I am also a huge fan of high quality cheese and fresh herbs to maximize flavor. Right now it's winter and my outdoor herb garden is out of commission so I purchase fresh herbs from the grocer.
We must have ample quantities of salsa in our refrigerator at all times for my husband. He loves to make his own, but currently we have about 3-4 commercial varities. He was raised here in Texas so I call him a "Texican." He loves Mexican food! I personally love Mediterranean fare, so you will see fresh mozzarella, lots of tomatoes, beans, lentils and dark leafy vegetables on my plate.
My children are 7 and 10 years old, so I make a point of having some fresh and colorful fruit washed and ready to go. When they open the refrigerator, they have it right at their eye level. They can grab some fruit and individually wrapped cheese for a super easy snack. They will also grab some veggies if I have a good dip ready as well. It's important to try different varities of fruits and vegetables on them regularly so they don't get too set on certain kinds. If you get your kids used to seeing different foods on a regular basis, it will make new food discoveries a norm as they get older.
We are visual creatures and if you set your refrigerator up the right way, you will eat the right food. Take a bit more time on Saturday or Sunday to do this and it makes a world of difference.
We still have over a week left of National Nutrition Month. That means we have little over a week left to enter your child in the Try It, You'll Like It! Contest. Head on over to our Lemond Nutrition Facebook page and click on the Contest tab for details. It takes 3 minutes to get them entered and winners get a super cool kitchen set!
Do something extra before the month's over to promote healthy eating in your home. What will it be? We'd love to hear from you.