Healthy Eating Habits: Kitchen Adjustments
Research indicates that making simple adjustments in our home environment can help us make wiser food choices.
So, instead of making resolutions to eat healthier in 2016, try making these simple changes in your kitchen that are known to promote better eating habits:
- The kitchen should be a place to prepare and eat food, not a relaxing hang-out. Remove the TV and any comfy chairs. (Studies indicate that TV viewing while eating lunch increases consumption by 10 to 18 percent.)
- Breakfast cereal, cookies, and other snacks should not be visible. Store them in your cupboards, or pantries.
- Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter or table, preferably within three feet of the most common kitchen pathway—and keep two or more types of fruit in the bowl.
- Keep cut-up fruits and veggies for snacking on the center shelf of the refrigerator, either bagged or in containers.
- In the freezer or refrigerator, store your healthiest leftovers in transparent containers, or cover them with a transparent wrap. Use aluminum foil and opaque containers to store less healthy leftovers.
- Keep your healthiest snacks toward the front and middle of the refrigerator, and the less healthy snacks in the back or lower sides.
- Have a full pitcher of fresh, cold water always available.
- In your cupboards and pantries, the healthiest food options should be kept toward the front at eye level. Store the less healthy options toward the back, lower sides, and on high or low shelves.
- Have a designated snack cupboard that is in an inconvenient location, and even if you have no kids consider putting an annoying child-proof latch on it.
- Counters should at all times be free from candy, snacks, cookies, soft drinks (any type), nuts, and cereals.
The size of dinnerware affects our eating habits, too. Using dinner plates that are no larger than 10 inches in diameter, choosing plates with colored rims, or that are sectioned helps us to accurately gauge our food consumption.