Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Cleaning Leads to Healthier Eating

Giving your home a deep cleaning is a great way to start fresh and ring in the warmer weather. While you are scrubbing floors and clearing out the dust bunnies, don’t forget one very important area in your home: the pantry. There may be food in your pantry, or refrigerator that should have been tossed long ago.  Here are some tips on how to give your pantry a thorough cleaning:

1. Check Expiration Dates.
Take the time to look at every item and toss everything that has expired. You will be surprised how often your pantry is cluttered with items that have passed their expiration date. The same is true for items in your fridge.

2. Get Rid of Junk Food.
Spring cleaning is not only a great time to clean your home, but it is also a great time to take stock of your health. Getting the junk food out of your home removes the temptation to eat these foods as often. Consider throwing out all sodas and sugary beverages that offer little to no nutritional value.

3. Clean!
It is important that the spaces where you keep your food are sanitary. Remove all food items from your pantry and fridge and give them a deep clean. Be cautious about what kind of cleaners you use. Avoid strong chemical cleaners and opt for more natural cleaners that will not be harmful to your food.

4. Restock.
Now that you have gotten rid of all the expired items and junk foods, it is time to restock your pantry with new and healthy foods. Take time to consider what meals you would like to prepare in the near future, and make a grocery list for the items required. Stock your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables, or even leave them out in a fruit bowl where you can see them.

5. Organize.
To keep your pantry or fridge from becoming cluttered again, designate areas for certain groups of foods (such as canned foods, cereals, spices, etc).  Try using the “first in, first out” method, when possible, to reduce food waste. Organize your items in a way that will allow easy access to the foods you use most often.

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