Setting Your Kitchen Up for Success

Written by Tanya Choy, RD, CDE and Michelle Spittel, RD

Nutrition plays an important role in supporting health, and having a clutter-free, well-organized kitchen space to prepare your meals can save you time and money.  It can also be a comforting form of self-care. Here are some simple tips to create an organized space that will help you prepare fast, delicious meals!

  1. Food Organization:  We are more likely to eat what we are surrounded with, so stock your fridge and pantry with the nourishing foods you are trying to eat more of.  Put foods that are close to their expiry date in an accessible and visible container in the fridge to ensure they get used up, and clear out any foods that are past due.  Keep an inventory of your fridge, freezer and pantry to avoid purchasing foods you already have during your next grocery trip.
  2. Kitchen Tools: Make kitchen tools accessible so that a meal can be put together in a pinch! Items like a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, mandolin, salad spinner, food processor and a good sharp knife are all tools that can speed up the meal prep process. Boiling water in a kettle while prepping other foods can be time saver as well.
  3. Containers: Keep different sized containers (with matching lids!) to fit batch-cooked meals, individually-portioned lunches, snacks and sauces. Prepare your lunch bag, ice pack and water bottle so that everything is good to go when packing a meal.
  4. GO-TO Recipes: Have 5 simple go-to recipes that you can easily turn to. To give you a variety of nutrients and keep you satisfied, fill half your plate with fruit/veggies, ¼ of the plate with protein and ¼ of the plate with carbohydrates. For example, this week’s rotation could include 1) One Sheet Pan Baked chicken and vegetables, 2) Frittata, 3) Instant pot vegetarian chili, 4) Broiled salmon with noodle soup and 5) Fried rice to use up any leftover bits of veggies/protein. You can also search here for some delicious recipes to add to your collection:
  5. Online Groceries: When time is of the essence, ordering groceries online can be the way to go. Keep a running list of staple items that you order on a regular basis such as fruits/vegetables, milk, eggs, bread, and then all you have to do is click “reorder” and pick up your order from the store.

Hopefully these tips will help you find your rhythm in the kitchen, the heart of your home, and you will whip together meals that bring you both joy and comfort.