Below are some tips and tricks that we can share to help support you in making your kitchen support their goals.
Make your kitchen less “loungeable.” The more you hang out in your kitchen, the more you’ll eat.
Make tempting foods invisible and inconvenient. Rearrange your cupboard, pantry, and refrigerator so the first foods you see are the best for you.
Example: A 2011 study asked people to move all their fruits and vegetables from the crisper bin to the top shelf of their refrigerator and to move their less healthy foods down into the crisper. After one week, they reported eating nearly three times as many fruits and vegetables as the week before.(1)
If you have kids, set up a designated “kids’ cupboard” that’s off-limits to you.
Set up your kids’ cupboard so it is difficult to access. For instance it is all in one bin at the bottom corner of the pantry, or in the laundry room on the top shelf – somewhere that requires time and effort to access, creating space and time to think before grabbing a kids’ treat.
Buy in bulk, but repackage huge portions into single servings.
Wholesale stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are filled with great food bargains. But huge portions can get you into trouble nutritionally. You may eat foods faster and in greater quantities than they otherwise would. Repackage any supersize boxes into single-serve baggies. A second solution is to store big boxes as far away from reach as possible—in the basement or a distant cupboard.
Make it easier to cook.
Make it super-easy to prep food—especially vegetables—in your kitchen. You are more likely to cook vegetables if it’s convenient and fun to do so. Some ideas:
- If you’re renovating, put bright halogen spotlights and overhead music speakers close to the sink.
- Create a dedicated prep area that a helpful friend, spouse, or child can use.
- A double sink might help you make more food from scratch since you can separate vegetable and meat trimmings from your dishes.
Adjust your dining area.
Some families serve family-style meals and crowd all their serving bowls onto the table. Other families serve their food directly off the stove or counter. People who serve from the stove or counter eat less total food compared to those serving themselves right off the table.(1). If eating family-style is a must in your house, try serving out of bowls with lids, which might cut down on seconds or thirds.
- Wansink, B. (2014). Slim by design:Mindless eating solutions for everyday life. New York, NY: HarperCollins.