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April 12, 2013

Spring Cleaning in the Kitchen

Flowers are blooming and leaves are growing. The freshness of spring often makes us think about cleaning our house to welcome the warmer weather. As you’re organizing your house, it’s the perfect time to take stock of the foods in your kitchen. What is the first thing you see when you open the cupboard or refrigerator door? The foods at eye level are the ones you are most likely to eat.

Always keep healthy snacks in the front of your
pantry or refrigerator where they are easy to reach.
In the pantry, put healthy snacks in front where they are easy to reach. Hide treats in containers and move them to the top shelf or the back where they are a little harder to find. In the fridge, do the same thing: place healthy items like fruits, vegetables, low-fat yogurt and hummus in easy to reach places. Sit down with your family and come up with some ideas for healthy snacks you want to try and add them to your shopping list. 

Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:
  • Apple or banana with peanut butter
  • Peppers, cucumbers, carrots or cherry tomatoes with hummus (Tip: Slice peppers and cucumbers on the weekend or when you have extra time so they are easy to grab when you’re in a hurry!)
  • Low-fat or nonfat yogurt with fresh fruit
  • Whole wheat crackers with low-fat string cheese
  • Trail mix: grab a small handful of nuts, a small handful of dried fruit and a whole grain cereal like cheerios and mix together (Tip: Mix a large batch all at once and divide into individual portions in Ziploc bags to store in the pantry)
With spring also comes a new season for fresh fruits and vegetables!  Look for asparagus, arugula, broccoli, green peas, spinach, new potatoes, and strawberries at your farmer’s market for a taste of some local Virginia and Maryland produce. Give one of these foods a try as you give your fridge that spring makeover!

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