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Family Nutrition

Fitness for the Fridge

No, opening and closing your refrigerator door doesn’t keep you – or the fridge – fit. But if you keep the healthiest food on the shelf you see first, your fridge can become a fitness center.

Organize your refrigerator shelves while spring cleaning to promote healthy eating habits and reduce food waste. Setting up a healthy fridge helps with menu planning and gets you into the weekly routine of fresh food preparation.

Get shelves on eye level:
• For a top freezer, eyelevel shelves are the middle or top shelves.
• If you have a bottom freezer, eye level may be at the middle or bottom shelves.
• Plan on restocking eyelevel shelves at least once a week so you have plenty
   to choose from when making snacks, lunches or when you come home “starving.”

Stock eyelevel shelves with healthy options:
• Top shelf is for on-the-go foods in their own containers – easy to get at for
   fast snacks
     Cut-up vegetables (peppers, carrots, tomatoes)
     Cut-up and whole fruit (berries, melon, peaches)
     Chunks of low fat cheese or natural string cheese
     Containers of hummus and salsa
     Hard-boiled eggs
     Low fat turkey slices
     Cooked rice and beans
     Vegetable soup
• Middle shelf is for foods to prep for top shelf and the basis for your meals
     Uncut fruit (pineapple, watermelon, etc)
     Uncut vegetables (whole peppers, heads of lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini)
     Low fat cheese in sealed wrappers
     Egg cartons
     Milk or milk alternatives (coconut, almond, soy)

Change the drawer labels and the contents:
• Fruits and veggies easily get forgotten in the bottom drawers, so just because they
   are called vegetable drawers doesn’t mean they have to get used that way
• Use bottom drawers for thawing meats, chicken and fish or items with long
   shelf lives
     Use a specific drawer as a thawing spot for that night’s dinner
     You can easily keep the drawer clean and you’ll know what you planed for
     the meal
     Nuts, dry beans, whole or ground seeds, and coffee can live a long life in these
     lower drawers
     Temptations that stay in the drawer are easier to resist, especially when they aren’t
     looking you in the face
     Hide candy, breads, leftover birthday cake

Keep accents on the side door:
• Store long-term items in the door
     Peanut, almond or cashew butter
     Salad dressings
     Ketchup and mustard
     Butter or ghee
     Hot sauce and soy sauce
     Pickles and olives
• Don’t pack the door with condiments. Check expiration dates often and discard
  old containers
Review the inventory before you shop to avoid buying duplicates

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