Stocking Your Kitchen Part 2: The Healthy Fridge!

Stocking your kitchen – Part Two: The Healthy Fridge - By Gillian Farren

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Firstly, think about how you will organize your fridge so that healthier food choices are the first ones you see.  Studies show that people are more likely to choose healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruit, if they’re easily available. Try these simple tips to organize a healthy fridge:

  • Keep fresh snacks in plain sight - such as hard-boiled eggs, cut veggies and fruit, bean dips and yogurt. Use this tip for your freezer and store cupboard too. 
  • Put snacks that are higher in fat and/or sugar (such as cakes and puddings if you have them) into containers you can’t see through – that way, you won’t be tempted. Do this with foods in your store cupboard and freezer too!
  • Keep milk, sparkling water and jugs of plain water front and centre. Add lemon, lime or orange slices or mint leaves to water for a refreshing drink.
  • Keep your fridge free of clutter so you that can see the healthier foods you have, and so that you know when stocks need to be replenished. Use this tip for your freezer and store cupboard too. 

Foods for your fridge

  • Milk, yoghurt and cheese: With up to 16 essential nutrients, milk products make a super snack or a smart addition to cooking and baking. Choose lower-fat milk products (i.e. skimmed or semi-skimmed), be careful of added sugar in yoghurts (even those labelled low fat, healthy option or diet) and choose lower fat cheeses such as cottage cheese, Edam and gouda.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit: They’re filled with fibre, vitamins and minerals for good health. Keep colourful cut veggies and fruit ready for grab-and-go snacks.
  • Eggs: A very versatile source of protein, and naturally low in fat! Cook up a quick frittata, burrito or omelette for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • Hummus or bean dips: such as black bean or white bean. Legumes are loaded with protein and fibre, and they make tasty dips for veggies. Again, look out for lower fat options.
  • Natural nut butters: For a superb nutty taste, choose natural nut butters, such as peanut or almond, with no added sugar or salt. Remember, however, that these products are naturally high in fat (but healthier fat – rich in mono-unsaturates) and so use them sparingly if watching your weight; be mindful too, to opt for smooth varieties if you struggle with crumbly textures.

More flavour from your fridge:  

A squeeze of lemon or lime juice, a dash of tabasco sauce or some freshly ground pepper can bring healthy meals alive with flavour.  Use these in combination for added zing; bottled lemon and lime juice can make very good stand-by ingredients in the fridge, almost as good as freshly squeezed, as with all bottled and jarred foods that you are advised to refrigerated after opening, be mindful of their use-by (or use within) dates – use a pen to mark the label with the date of first opening, for added piece of mind.

Don't miss next week's instalment of Stocking Your Kitchen Part 3: The Healthy Freezer

Click here for Part 1