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By Tina Haupert
When I'm hungry, I'm more likely to reach for quick, easy foods in my kitchen, which are not always the healthiest. I've learned, though, that with a little strategic organization and stocking of my refrigerator, I'm more likely to reach for nutritious choices. Here are my go-to tips for giving your fridge a healthy makeover!
Put the healthy stuff front and center
Instead of keeping fresh fruits and veggies in the crisper drawers at the bottom of the refrigerator where I can't see them, I put my produce in a big, clear container on one of the shelves. Whenever I open the door, it's the first thing I see, so I'm more likely to grab an apple or handful of baby carrots over something not as nutritious. Similarly, instead of wrapping leftovers in tinfoil, I store them in clear containers so I don't forget about them when my hunger strikes.
Keep the more indulgent foods out of sight
I love to splurge every now and then, so I keep my favorite unhealthy foods out of sight (and out of mind). Seeing a delicious food makes me more enticed to eat it, so I store these more indulgent foods in opaque containers or various drawers in my refrigerator. For example, I keep a bag of chocolate chips in the butter compartment on the door, so they're not the first thing I see when I open the fridge. Sometimes, I actually forget they're there!
Do some prep work
On Sunday afternoons, I take some time to prepare healthy snacks for the upcoming week. My favorites: sweet potato wedges, hard-boiled eggs, and chopped veggies for dipping into hummus or guacamole. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips when I need something to tide me over until dinner, these healthy snacks are quick and convenient.
Keep reading for more fridge tips.
Simplify what's inside
If my fridge is stuffed to the gills, so I can't easily see what's inside, I know I'm more likely to head to the cabinets for cookies than rifle through the clutter. Every week, I make it a point to take stock of inventory and toss any spoiled food from my refrigerator before I go shopping. That way, I don't buy too much at the grocery store (and further stuff my fridge) and I can see all of the healthy options available to me.
Think outside the box
When I open the door and stare into my refrigerator, I try to think outside of the box when it comes to what to eat. Often times, this means turning leftovers from the previous night's dinner or lunch into a snack. For instance, leftover chicken stir-fry or garlic mashed potatoes are a quick, easy, and satisfying snack from the refrigerator.