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Kitchen Spring Cleaning

nutrition tips Apr 14, 2018

That itch we feel to clean out and clean up our homes in the spring is approaching! If you’re like me, then you might be finding yourself digging around in your pantry for a snack or something to make as a side dish for dinner when you come across that chocolate Easter bunny from last year or that discarded bag of chip crumbs that was kept for a just-in-case midnight snack. It’s time for the crap to go!

One of the wonderful symptoms of spring and warmer weather is not just the need to organize and purge, but also to begin (or hopefully continue) eating right. We become increasingly aware of summer; and that our sweats will retire to the back of our closets and be replaced with shorts, dresses and bathing suits. That’s all the motivation I need to toss the tempting junk food I’ve hoarded for months and get back on track.

Let’s start with the junk in the pantry!

  • Toss the foods that are overly processed and high in sugar. Leave yourself a treat or two that you cannot live without. HOWEVER, that treat should be something like dark chocolate -- it’s a treat but it’s something that won’t have much control over you.
  • Read labels: look for naughty additives that you can do without. For instance, MSG (and other forms) can be found in seasonings, dressings, sauces, etc.
  • As you throw things away, make a list of replacements you need. If you get rid of some “staple” items because their contents were less than ideal, write it down so you know to pick up a healthier version.
  • Try not to keep items based on the logic that if you have company, they can eat it. When you do have visitors, you can decide on a snack or two to pick up then.
  • Organize either as you go or after you have thrown away the crap!

Moving on to the fridge and freezer…

  • Ditch the juice, ice cream, and other temptations. This is especially important if you know you won’t have the self control to stop yourself.
  • Continue reading those labels. Check your condiments to be sure that they aren’t expired and that those ingredients are of the best quality. Don’t forget to add items to the list as you throw out the unworthy ones.
  • Clean and organize as you go.

Organization - I mentioned organizing as you go, but would like to expand a bit on that.

  • An organized pantry and fridge will create a less stressful and more controlled environment.
  • Straighten up your equipment: make your steamer/steam basket, crock pot, blender, etc. are easily accessible. This way you will actually use them.
  • Search Pinterest when in doubt! Pinterest has a ton of organizational ideas for all the nooks and crannies in your kitchen. Add those items to your list of things to pick up.

Restocking - you’ve cleaned everything out and organized what’s remaining. Here are some staple items that I always have.

Pantry: almond butter, cashews, walnuts, roasted chickpeas, beans, tuna, pickles, vinegar, avocado oil, coconut oil, oatmeal, chia seeds

Fridge: fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade infused water, hummus, yogurt, cottage cheese

Freezer: frozen fruits and veggies, ready to go freezer meals, smoothie bags

Start a Recipe Log

  • Whether it’s a recipe box, notebook, binder, or a virtual site like Pinterest, start keeping all of your recipes in one place. After you and your family try a recipe, decide if it’s a keeper or a dud.
  • I like to start a virtual folder in Evernote for all of my recipes, experiments and meal plans.
  • You need to keep all of these recipes and meal plans in one place. So, start organizing now where all of those will be kept.

Time is of the essence! Don’t let too much time get between your clean out and your restock/ organization / and meal planning. Once you have your shopping list made, go out and buy those items. It’s easy to let those pesky snacks back into the house if your pantry, fridge, and freezer aren’t well stocked.

Comment below with any clean out tips you have for us!

Busy Moms, Healthy Family Guide

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