The best way to change your eating habits is to make the healthy option the easiest choice! This is especially true in the beginning when your trying to get in the swing of things.
There are a few tools in the kitchen that I use regularly that make eating healthy super easy. I have two young kids and work a full time job. I need things to be simple and quick! And I need help battling the temptations of running through the Del Taco drive thru when I’m feeling lazy or craving a bean and cheese burrito! 😉
By adding these tools to your kitchen you will make food preparation simple and quick. These are the exact things I use and they help me make better choices about what my family and I eat.
Since it’s easier on me, I’m more inclined to make healthy meals which also benefits my family because they start eating better too! If a healthy lunch or dinner is prepared and in their face ready to eat, then they will eat it! Try it! I bet your family will do the same!
So, here are the things you need in your kitchen to make things super simple!
My mom taught me this one. Keep a vegetable tray with dipping sauce in the fridge, and you will pull it out to snack on it because it’s too simple not too! Keeping this in the fridge has replaced our bad habit of snacking on chips and crackers before a meal. When we get home from work and before we make dinner, I pull this bad boy out and put it on the table and watch my family devour it.
Try it! I bet your family will do the same!
I personally like this veggie tray from amazon, it’s big but not too big that it can’t fit in my fridge and it is reasonably priced. We usually don’t keep plastic containers in our house but the benefits outweigh the cons in this case. You can also flip the lid over, put ice on it, and keep your veggies cool. (It’s also big enough to use for parties too!)
Oh, how I love meals that you can set and forget during the weekday! Crock pots are great if you think ahead for dinner (like in the morning before leaving for work) and the instant pot is great if your like me and just need a healthy meal for the family ready in 30 min or less. The other thing I really like about the instant pot is being able to cook raw beans in less than 30 minutes! Pressure cookers can help you save so much money on buying canned food and they are so much better for you! Raw beans have no preservatives, no added salt, and no BPA from a can that leaches into your food.
Another great tip that I use that you could do too, is pre-prep healthy crock pot meals for the freezer. You can find some great ideas here for recipes to try. An hour or two of batch prepping meals in the beginning of the week will save you hours when your too busy to cook during the week. And you will still feed your family a super healthy meal!
A steamer basket makes cooking veggies so quick and easy. And this steamer basket is great because it fits a regular pot and the Instant Pot above!
Most veggies take less than 10 minutes to steam up. Every meal we try to include a side of veggies. Steaming broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, peas and carrots, spinach, artichokes, and bok choy are all great options. All you do is steam them, add some seasoning (we usually add salt and pepper or garlic salt), maybe a little bit of fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and you will have a side dish the whole family will enjoy!
I love this kitchen gadget and have found this thermometer helpful in many cases. It’s great if you want to try sheet pan recipes and need to make sure your meats are cooked all the way. Stick the needle in the meat, put it in the oven, and stick the magnetic temp gauge on your oven and you can watch the temperature slowly rise until it’s cooked to your liking. How awesome is that?!
I’ve also used this when making homemade pizza dough, to measure the temperature of the water to 110 degrees Fahrenheit so the yeast can activate.
This will make sure when your cooking healthy meals you have the right temperature every time. No guessing here.
These are pretty great to have if your limiting your intake on carbs. I like this one because, to be honest, I hate cleaning big bulky kitchen tools with a bunch of attachments. This one is small enough to fit in your drawer and only two pieces to clean. And you can still make a great zughetti meal pretty quick!
These are awesome to have and a great small investment! Produce tends to go bad quickly and I hate wasting money on food that goes bad fast. These green bags will keep your produce fresh for about twice as long as they would last without them. When fruits and veggies go on sale I am able to stock up for about 2 weeks for these. Super helpful in saving money and time running to the grocery store for fresh produce!
A few tips when using these:
- Make sure the produce you put in these are completely dry
- Fold over the bags to close them shut
- Turn them inside out, wipe clean, and reuse them!
We love salad in our house. And I think it is partly because they are easy to grab from the fridge when we are hungry. This salad spinner makes throwing together a salad super quick and easy. Throw the chopped up lettuce in the spinner, spin a few times. Then add other goodies like cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, whatever you like! Keeping a salad and a few salad dressing on hand makes for a quick snack, easy lunch, or side dish.
I used to love using Pam. Until I learned it destroys the non-stick layer on your saute pans. Not only that, but Pam is terrible for you! Most cooking sprays in a can contain hydrocarbons (like butane and propane) in them. They evaporate on contact with the pan, but still! I don’t want that in my food that I feed my family.
A better option is one of these oil misters. Add olive oil or avocado oil to this and use it the same as you would any other non-stick cooking spray. This is so much healthier for you, is just as quick to use as Pam, and will actually save you money in the long run.
These are great to put your dinner leftovers in and pack for lunch the next day! The glass meal prep containers have 3 sections to separate each portion of your meal. These help me save money on buying lunch on work days and make it easier to say no to going out to lunch.
The simpler you make eating healthy the more inclined you will be to stick to it. Pick one aspect of the eating healthy process and try to simplify it. Is is difficult to eat healthy at dinner because it takes too long? Use a instant pot to make dinners quick and easy. Is it hard to get to the grocery store for fresh veggies once a week? Use Green Bags so your produce lasts longer and you can buy more when you do go to the store. Is packing a lunch difficult for you? Cook extra at dinner and use the glass meal prep containers to keep your food separated when you warm it up. All the small changes add up and will get you and your family on the right track to eating healthier!