Published February 17, 2013
When I'm hungry, I'm more likely to reach for quick, easy foods in my kitchen, which are not always the healthiest.
I've learned, though, that with a little strategic organization and stocking of my refrigerator, I'm more likely to reach for nutritious choices.
Here are my go-to tips for giving your fridge a healthy makeover:
Put the healthy stuff front and center
Instead of keeping fresh fruits and veggies in the crisper drawers at the bottom of the refrigerator where I can't see them, I put my produce in a big, clear container on one of the shelves. Whenever I open the door, it's the first thing I see, so I'm more likely to grab an apple or handful of baby carrots over something not as nutritious. Similarly, instead of wrapping leftovers in tinfoil, I store them in clear containers so I don't forget about them when my hunger strikes.
Keep the more indulgent foods out of sight
I love to splurge every now and then, so I keep my favorite unhealthy foods out of sight (and out of mind). Seeing a delicious food makes me more enticed to eat it, so I store these more indulgent foods in opaque containers or various drawers in my refrigerator. For example, I keep a bag of chocolate chips in the butter compartment on the door, so they're not the first thing I see when I open the fridge. Sometimes, I actually forget they're there!
Do some prep work
On Sunday afternoons, I take some time to prepare healthy snacks for the upcoming week. My favorites: sweet potato wedges, hard-boiled eggs, and chopped veggies for dipping into hummus or guacamole. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips when I need something to tide me over until dinner, these healthy snacks are quick and convenient.
Simplify what's inside
If my fridge is stuffed to the gills, so I can't easily see what's inside, I know I'm more likely to head to the cabinets for cookies than rifle through the clutter. Every week, I make it a point to take stock of inventory and toss any spoiled food from my refrigerator before I go shopping. That way, I don't buy too much at the grocery store (and further stuff my fridge) and I can see all of the healthy options available to me.
Think outside the box
When I open the door and stare into my refrigerator, I try to think outside of the box when it comes to what to eat. Often times, this means turning leftovers from the previous night's dinner or lunch into a snack. For instance, leftover chicken stir-fry or garlic mashed potatoes are a quick, easy, and satisfying snack from the refrigerator.