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Spring clean your pantry for better health!

submitted by Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD, www.ShopRite.com

Below are some tips to help you refresh your pantry to get you ready for the change of seasons

  1. Take stock of what you have. A good first step of any reorganization is to take inventory of what you have. Clear a space on your kitchen counter and move everything from your pantry so you can view the entire contents of your cupboard.
  2. Check expiration dates. It can be easy to forget about foods that are hidden in the back of the pantry for months (or even years). Discard items that are past their expiration to make room for new items.
  3. Donate. See a random canned or boxed food that you don’t know what to do with? Make an area for things you can give away to a local food bank. This is also a great opportunity to donate less nutritious foods that no longer align with your health goals.
  4. Use helpful labels. If you are transferring products out of their original packaging, don’t forget to label the container with the item name and expiration date.
  5. Organize with health in mind. Place nutritious snacks at eye level so that everyone sees them right away when opening the pantry. This makes healthy choices more likely.
  6. Create a “grab and go” section. This is a great place for ready-to-eat foods that are convenient for kids to grab after school or on the way to an activity. Selections such as fruit cups in water, granola bars, or whole grain crackers are smart choices. This could even be a space for healthy, homemade snacks like popcorn or trail mix.
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