I'd like to show you how to make a healthy pantry in just 7 simple steps. I know, I know, when we think of a pantry, we think of it as the house for all our naughty snacks. Chips, cookies, candies, sugar, and other processed foods often fill our pantries alongside all our healthier items like spices, oatmeal, nut butters, and canned veggies. Most pantries have a nice mix of both naughty and nice items, but usually, the naughty items seem to be the ones that get eaten first. Am I right? To help you create a healthy pantry, I’d like to share 7 easy tips. Don’t worry, it’s not as tough as you think!
1. Purge It
One of the first steps to create a healthy pantry is to purge all that bad stuff ASAP! It’s just torturing you, don’t you see? How could anyone in their right mind reach for some whole grain crackers when they’ve got double fudge Oreos staring them in the face? Give yourself a break and just get rid of the bad stuff. It’s doing nothing for you, and only hurting your goal to eating healthy. Plus, it’s a total waste of money. Do you really just eat a few Oreos or chocolate chip cookies at a time? I didn’t think so!
2. Organize It
After you purge your pantry, it’s time to get it organized. By grouping items together according to similarity you’ll easily be able to see what items you have on a day to day basis. This also allows you to see what items you need to buy to fill it with healthier foods. Consider grouping items together such as grains, nuts, seeds, spices, whole grain snacks, canned veggies and other items like coffee, coffee filters, etc.
3. Make a List
Now that you’ve got it organized and grouped correctly, make a list of what you need to buy. For instance, you are probably going to want to buy some healthy foods to replace the holes in your pantry from the big initial purge. Good items to stock up on are things like quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, oats, lentils, chickpeas, canned veggies, canned tuna or salmon, dried herbs and spices, quality oils like olive and coconut, flavorings for baking such as vanilla or almond extract, healthy sweeteners like stevia, organic coffee, whole grain crackers, unsweetened trail mix, plain nut butters, and even just plain packs of nuts. All of these are great to stock your pantry with instead of unhealthy, sugary, fatty processed foods.
4. Go Shopping
Now that you’ve made your list, go shopping! Avoid buying anything that won’t serve your new healthy pantry well. I know it’s hard, but resist however possible. Reward yourself by even splurging on some labels to label your new organized shelves with! This will help you stay organized and focused on the main goal of keeping your pantry healthy.
5. Keep It Clean
One other way to keep your pantry healthy is to keep it clean. After you purge it, be sure you give it a nice clean to wipe away any dirty crumbs and spills that might lead to bacteria build-up.
6. Keep a Running List
Here’s one trick that works really well to help keep your pantry healthy for long term. Keep a running list inside the cabinet door of what items you use the most of, and what you’ll need to buy more of. This can help you stay focused and on task when organizing your pantry. Plus, it makes trips to the store so much easier since you already have a list!
7. Good Supplies
Make sure you keep some supplies on hand that I find are true lifesavers when it comes to packaging snacks on the go. I like to keep a variety of sizes of Ziploc bags, and small tupperware containers as well. These are perfect for packaging trail mix in, or making oatmeal baggies on the go for travel. You can also use them to put some raw veggies and nut butter in too. Get creative, and look for recipes online to help keep you inspired.
Having a healthy pantry doesn’t have to be hard. So long as you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy pantry in no time. Once you see your weight start to steady, you’ll also be more encouraged to keep it going. Those cookies won’t look near as tempting after a month, don’t worry! What’s your best tip to keep your pantry healthy?