The Secret Your Food Storage is Keeping From You

Please welcome my guest today, Rachel from KitchenCourses.com.

Whether we’re organized or not, we all have food storage. It might not be pretty or large and we might not all use it to our advantage, but we all have it in our kitchens. Many of us organize our food storage in a way that makes sense to us, like pasta here or chips there, but did you know that your food storage is keeping a secret from you? It’s not just a little secret either, but it’s a pretty big secret that can drastically change how you and your family eat throughout the day.

So what is this secret?

The way you organize your food storage defines your eating habits.

That’s a pretty powerful statement, right? The way you organize your cupboards and make things accessible to yourself and your family defines how much and what you put into your body as fuel each day.

Let’s take an example and say that you have an unorganized pantry full of some healthy snack foods and some less healthy snack foods, but they aren’t labeled or placed in any strategic way. What are you likely to pick up? Whatever is in front or catches your eye straight away, right? You don’t think about health or nutrition. You see something in front of you and think, “That looks good” and start snacking away.

Now, on the other hand, let’s say you have a fully organized pantry, with a snack basket full of healthy options that you and your family members know they can go to when they need a little pick me up during the day. It’s placed at eye level in the front of the pantry. The less healthy options are placed in another basket for maybe “once in a while” or “when mom or dad approves” times and are higher up and out of sight. In this scenario, what will you and your family members grab for? What they know is allowed and right in front of them. The choices for the chips or candy aren’t a choice anymore, because they’re out of sight and off limits, reserved for “once in a while” or “when mom or dad approves.”

The same can be said for organizing your fridge or freezer. If you have designated areas where the healthy snack options are the only options, and the less healthy options aren’t front and center, you’re more likely to sway yourself and your family from eating those things on a regular basis.

If you feel like you’ve been tricked into eating unhealthily for a while because of your organization, here are a few tips for you:

  • Create two snack baskets like Laura has shown us and place one front and center of your pantry and one front and center of your fridge.

  • Fill your snack baskets with healthy options, like whole grain crackers, portioned sizes of granola, nuts, or trail mix, yogurt, cheese sticks, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Create a “once in a while” basket and place it up high and out of reach (maybe even from you, if you’re big on snacking!) filled with the goodies that you still enjoy, but don’t want to fill up on regularly.
  • Move soda or other sugar-heavy drinks to the back of the fridge or in the door so water, milk, or juice becomes the first options seen when opening the door.

The goal is not to limit yourself or your family on the things that you enjoy, but it’s to help sway them into making and maintaining healthy eating habits. By putting your organizing skills to work, you’ll be one step closer to a healthy family.

Are you already using snack baskets in your pantry? How have you seen them change your family’s eating habits?

Rachael is the blogger behind KitchenCourses.com and is the author of How to Cook For Yourself and Kick Start Your Kitchen. She writes about her passion for food, eating well while saving money, and inspires people to get familiar with their kitchens and cook for themselves.

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Comments

9 Responses to The Secret Your Food Storage is Keeping From You

  1. 2
    Lisa says

    I use another simple method. Since my kids are all school-age. I have 2 clear egg bins from my refrigerator that I never used. I put all the lunch stuff in them. One has cups of fruit and packaged treats. The other has capri-suns and granola bars. Those egg bins are exactly the depth of a pantry and have a little handle to slide them out. They hold a ton. An entire box of capri suns and 1-2 boxes of granola will fit in 1. My kids know they aren’t to use the pre-packaged food for anything other than packing lunches. They are allowed fruit or veggies/dip anytime night or day without asking. It takes almost no time to pack lunches anymore. I grab 2-3 of each and make a sandwich/wrap for each and throw it all in a lunch box. I always know, too, when I’m getting low. Nothing is hiding in a box.

    • 2.1
      Rachael from KitchenCourses.com says

      This is a great idea, Lisa! I love that not everything is off limits, but everyone in your house knows what is and isn’t for the taking when they get a little snacky!

      Also, having a visual with everything out of their packaging is a really smart way to keep track of what you have on hand and what you need to pick up on your next shopping trip!

  2. 4
    MaryJo @ reSPACEd: Budget Organizing says

    Hi Rachel,

    Your statement “the way you organize your food storage defines your eating habits” could apply to a lot of different aspects of organizing, I think. For example, the clothes that are easiest to access in your closet are the ones that are most likely to get worn, thus they define your wardrobe. The toys that are the easiest for the kids to access are the ones that will get played with the most, thus they define the kids’ playtime habits. It’s a smart, inspiring statement and one worthy of its own separate blog post, I think. Mind if I write about it, giving you credit for coming up with the initial version of the statement?

  3. 5
    MaryJo @ reSPACEd: Budget Organizing says

    Hi everyone, it’s me again. Rachael kindly allowed me to write a post inspired by her statement “The way you organize your food defines your eating habits.” I expanded on that statement to write about how whatever we keep front and center in our home defines our lifestyle, which is great if it’s your exercise equipment, but not so great if it’s the Twinkies. Check it out here: http://respacedpdx.com/2012/02/whatever-is-front-and-center-in-your-home-defines-your-lifestyle-is-it-reflecting-the-lifestyle-you-want/

  4. 6
    joseph says

    I don’t see prices! How can I buy without knowing!

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