This article contains tips for organizing a happy, healthy pantry, and how a healthy pantry is a commitment to your overall health.
Your 9 to 5 is done. Let’s face it, when is full time just 8 hours? Its late and the kids are ready for dinner. Temptation creeps in. You find yourself thinking to yourself, “Let’s just grab something to eat. McyDee’s is on the way home. I won’t have to cook or do dishes.” Don’t do it girlfriend! Just say no! There is an easy way. Healthy cooking doesn’t have to take long, a lesson I wish I had learned long ago. Get yourself a high quality blender, a kicking pantry and you’re in business.
Measuring your Pantry
My pantry started with a mix of containers hidden behind other containers, some missing labels and general disarray. The first step to organizing a happy and healthy pantry is to empty the pantry and begin to organize everything by height. I put the taller containers in the back and the shorter ones up front, then realized that I lacked enough tall containers. Next, I pulled out the measuring tape, measuring the height, width and depth of each shelf. Additionally, I took pictures of my “before pantry” for reference. I was now able to purchase the right sized containers for a perfect fit and easy organization.
Note, you absolutely must take your measuring tape to the store with you. It’s so much easier to measure the containers at the store than to try to find the dimensions of the pieces on the boxes/labels.
Labeling Your Containers
I got the cutest chalkboard labels off of Amazon! My only regret is that I didn’t order more. At first, I thought the large labels would be too large, but in retrospect they were perfect. Be sure to place the labels near the top of the jars, so they are visible even with smaller containers in front of them.
The labels are vinyl and survive a wash. I’ve found that these are much higher quality (and cost less) than containers with chalk labels pre-attached. Links to purchase the labels and other items can be found at the end of this article.
Filling Containers and Writing on Labels
After filling up each container, make sure to write the name of the item on your label. The great thing about chalk pens are the wide variety of colors! I went with a simple white to contrast the black label but feel free to be creative with your labeling. The only downside to chalk pens is that the tip would sometimes get “fuzzy”. A simple solution to this problem is to keep a pair of scissors handy. When the need arises, cut the felt tip to make it more pointed.
Commit to a Healthy Pantry
Every year, more children are diagnosed with diabetes, lupus, RA and autism. Rounds of antibiotics can take their toll on our sweet little ones. One in twelve Americans, and one in nine women, will develop an auto-immune disorder. Nutrition starts at home and healthy food should be within arm’s reach. Committing to organizing your pantry should include committing to organizing a healthy pantry.
Earlier this year, my daughter was diagnosed with Lupus. When we found out, I threw out almost everything in my pantry and tried to start fresh. I purchased books on Amazon to gain more knowledge and understanding of what she could eat that wouldn’t increase her pain. I was ready to do everything in my power to keep my family in optimal health. One of the first things we did was get food allergy testing done. This helped us discover her gluten and dairy allergies. We also had nutrition testing, to find out about any vitamin deficiencies. Just by changing diet alone, there was very notable progress.
To all parents out there, I wish your children a happy and healthy future, and wish for you the knowledge to guide them there. It can be expensive to switch gears, especially initially. But the way I see it, it’s better to spend on groceries than at the doctor. Fill your pantry with an assortment of healthy choices. Mine contains a wide variety of legumes, nuts, and dried fruits, as well as gluten free flours including Amaranth and Water Chestnut.
Host a Potluck
Now that you have an awesome pantry, you can host your healthy potluck. It is less than a minute to do it with PotluckBuddies.com. You can invite your friends with Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Email, and even SMS. It keeps the menu simple and organized so you don’t have to worry about any coordination. You can focus on a couple of awesome entrees and ask your guests to bring the rest. Use the host message spot to say something like:
“You are invited to our HealthLuck… A Healthy Potluck! Our request is that you bring unprocessed, home-made food. Please ensure you add labels such as Gluten Free, Dairy Free or Nut Free. Thank you!”
Items mentioned in this article are featured below. Purchases using these links go toward the support of this blog.