Kids eat right.

Give Your Kitchen a Healthy Makeover

Contributors: Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, LDN
Give Your Kitchen and Healthy Makeover

Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Thinkstock

If you really want to change your family's eating habits, you need to build a healthy kitchen. Here's how to give your kitchen a healthy makeover.

Make a List

What healthful foods do you want to stock in your fridge, freezer and pantry? Make a list and bring it to the grocery store and farmers market.

Consider Some Simple Swaps

Can you swap whole wheat bread for white? How about low-fat milk instead of whole milk? Plain yogurt instead of sour cream or mustard instead of mayonnaise? Plant-based meals instead of meat-focused meals? You don't have to make every change right away if you're not ready. Ease yourself and your family into healthier ingredients one at a time.

Do the Math

Calculate your grocery needs based on how many people are in your family. For example, if each person should eat a minimum of two pieces of fruit per day and there are four in your family, that means you need eight pieces of fruit in your house for a day. Do the same calculation with other food groups, so you can plan how much to purchase per week.

Embrace Canned Foods

Many canned foods retain as much nutrient value as their fresh or frozen counterparts. Choosing canned fruits, vegetables, beans, meats and seafood can lighten the burden on your pocketbook and ensure these nutritious foods are on hand in a pinch. Look for BPA-free cans, whenever possible. If you can, rinse and drain canned food items, such as beans, to reduce the sodium in some of these products.

Change Up Your Kitchen Environment

Once you bring your groceries home, make nourishing foods more accessible and inviting. Fill a fruit bowl with the fresh, colorful fruit you just purchased and place it on your kitchen countertop. Clean and cut fresh vegetables right away and put them in containers in the front of the fridge so they are convenient to grab and eat on the go. Place fresh herbs in water in the fridge to use quickly and put new milk behind the older one to use that one up before it spoils.