3 Steps to Spring Clean Your Food Environment

Have you considered how spring cleaning can support your weight and health goals?

Have you considered how spring cleaning can support your weight and health goals?

I’m not talking about chores like washing the windows, going through old clothes, or finally emptying out that junk drawer. I’m talking about cleaning up your food environment.

Here are a few easy steps to clean out your pantry and refrigerator and outfit your kitchen to support your weight goal.

1. Clean Out

Looking at each food item, ask yourself:

  • Is this food high in added sugars? Remember: women are aiming for less than 25 grams of added sugars per day, and men for less than 36 grams of added sugar per day. Be sure to check items like sauces, snack foods, and of course, desserts.
  • Is this food high in sodium? Target less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Pay special attention to chips, crackers, dressings, and canned goods.
    • Does the food provide flavor and fullness satisfaction? Delicious and filling foods can help you to stay full and satisfied between meals, making it much easier for you to eat only when you’re truly hungry. Consider if you’d like to keep white pastas, rice, and breads, as these tend to be less filling than other whole grain options.

    2. Donate or Freeze

    If saying goodbye to foods you’ve already purchased feels wasteful – we get it! Consider which foods you can donate instead of throwing them away. You can also freeze foods to eat them gradually or at another time.

    3. Restock

    After parting ways with those foods in your pantry and fridge that don’t support your health goals, you may find yourself with some empty shelves. Over time, you can replace these items with options that will provide you with filling, beneficial nutrition.

    • Stock up on sugar-free Hunger Savers like trail mix, veggie sticks with hummus, crackers and peanut butter, and high-protein yogurt. Choose reduced-sodium options for things like canned veggies and beans, jarred sauces, condiments, and salad dressings.
    • Try out different whole wheat breads, pastas, and other whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, bulgar, and grits. These options support healthy digestion and work to really fill you up. Having whole grains on hand will provide you with different options to add to your daily meals.
      • Check out new foods the next time you are grocery shopping. What better way to try a new fruit or vegetable than after a fresh start from spring cleaning? Choose foods that are on sale, in season, and that interest you. Challenge yourself to try one new thing this month – you may find a new favorite food.

      Take your time finding the pantry staples that work best for your lifestyle, your goals, your family’s preferences, and your grocery budget.

      Happy spring cleaning!

      Better health awaits,
      let’s get started