Simple tips to clean out your fridge and pantry for healthier food choices

If you’ve been snuggled up eating more comfort food than you’d care to admit this winter, you’re in good company.

But fear not, because Spring is a time of renewal and growth. It’s a time to clear out the old and make way for the new – particularly in our homes and routines.

If you’re feeling the urge to spring clean, why not try a healthy kitchen makeover while you’re at it, and give your eating routine and pantry a “mini makeover”.

In this article, we’ve outlined a few simple tips to freshen up your kitchen and spring clean your food choices.

Simple tips to spring clean your fridge and pantry for healthier food choices #springclean #diet #health #wellness Click To Tweet

 

1 – Literally clean out your fridge and pantry

It’s time to get real. When was the last time you saw the back of your pantry or fridge? That’s right, the very back…

If it’s been a few months, then it’s definitely time to clear out any food that might be past its use by date.

While you’re cleaning out any old or spoiled food, also consider how much processed and sugar-laden food you’ve got in the fridge and pantry, and remove any unhealthy foods that might cause you to overindulge, “just because it’s there”.

This means you’ll be able to enjoy a roomier and more organised kitchen, and your waistline will thank you too.

Remember, if you’re getting rid of any unopened, unexpired goods, you can always put them in a box and donate them to a local charity, food bank or shelter.

When was the last time you saw the back of your fridge? Time to clean out the old to make way for fresh and healthy options #springclean #diet #health #wellness Click To Tweet

 

2 – Swap out ‘heavy’ winter foods, for ‘lighter’ springtime options

While winter comfort foods can be hearty and satisfying, spring produce is light, crisp and just as delicious.

So, once you’ve cleaned out your pantry and fridge, you can reward yourself by restocking your kitchen with fresh, in-season fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains and beans.

Some great foods in season right now include asparagus, rhubarb, green peas, artichokes, spinach and strawberries. You can find a list of what’s in season in your state right here.

Restock your shelves with fresh, in-season produce to complete your healthy kitchen makeover – but don’t get drawn into food fads.

Once you’ve cleaned it out, restock your kitchen with fresh, in-season fruit and vegetables #springclean #diet #health #wellness Click To Tweet

 

3 – Don’t get drawn into food fads

Think you need to spend big to restock your shelves with healthy food? Pleasingly, that’s simply not the case.

There’s no need to buy expensive activated almonds or organic cacao powder to have a healthy kitchen.

According to an article by Choice.com.au it’s a common belief that healthy foods are more expensive, but this isn’t backed up by evidence.

In fact, simple, everyday (and inexpensive) foods can often be substituted for fad alternatives, but it’s important to have the right staples on hand so you can cook healthy meals at home.

In the Choice.com.au article, nutritionist and media commentator Catherine Saxelby suggests watching out for specials when it comes to fridge and pantry staples.

“Keep staples like rice, potatoes, rolled oats, canned or dried beans and canned tuna in the pantry, and frozen vegies such as peas and corn in the freezer. Buy these staples in bulk when they’re on special if you have the space,” Saxelby says.

“Plus make sure you have a good selection of dried herbs and spices on hand to add flavour to dishes.”

“Keep staples like rice, potatoes, rolled oats, canned or dried beans and canned tuna in the pantry, and frozen vegies such as peas and corn in the freezer.”

-Catherine Saxelby, Accredited Nutritionist

 

There’s no need to buy expensive activated almonds or organic cacao powder to have a healthy kitchen #springclean #diet #health #wellness Click To Tweet

 

4 – Look into ways to reduce food waste

According to sustainable food organisation FoodWise, Australians discard up to 20% of the food they buy. This equates to about one in every five bags of groceries.

But there are many ways to reduce food waste, which have the added benefit of keeping your kitchen tidy and keeping you healthy to boot.

These include:

  • storing food correctly (which can extend the life of some foods by several months)
  • making a list before you shop
  • cooking only what you need  
  • keeping a close eye on what’s in your pantry and fridge, so you don’t end up with a whole lot of food past its use-by date in the first place.

Australia’s food rescue organisation OzHarvest is currently running a campaign to fight food waste. You can find out more about what to do to reduce food waste on their website.

Reducing food waste has the added benefits of keeping your kitchen tidy and keeping you healthy to boot #springclean #diet #health #wellness Click To Tweet

 

Over to you. How do you feel about spring cleaning your kitchen? Do you have any tips to share?

 

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