It's the American pastime: opening the door of the refrigerator to stare... and stare... and stare. We close it and open it again five minutes later. What, still no jalapeño hummus?! We oftentimes get roped into eating unhealthy snacks when our fridge is overflowing like a clown car (chaos equals stress equals unhealthy eating). You bought carrots but the salsa is so much easier to reach for. With these four tips, your fridge can keep you on the healthy track to snacking.
Healthy alternatives: The first step to having a healthy fridge is buying healthy stock. The fruits and veggies are obvious, but what about your sweet tooth? Don't deprive yourself when you're craving chocolate, but indulge in the healthier alternatives. Put your two-ingredient chocolate pumpkin brownies in a plastic container on the middle shelf; that way, you're not hiding the goods from yourself, but presenting them full-force, knowing that eating one or two is not a bad decision. Some healthy munchies can last a while, such as hummus, and others (namely fruits and veggies) will spoil quicker. Be mindful and honest about how often you eat certain foods over others; don't buy kale if it'll rot in your bottom drawer. Buy fresh fruits that are appealingly juicy and it'll be hard to say no to them when you open the fridge!
Pre-cut your veggies. Ok, so you bought the celery stalks but they're still bundled together in the plastic. Let's be honest, you're so much less likely to grab an entire stalk of celery and munch away than if it were cut into individual pieces. It's easier to grab three or four little pieces of celery, dip them in peanut butter and be on your way! Because when you're on the go, getting out the cutting board is the last thing you want to do. Save yourself some time and cut your veggies right after you buy them!
Organize. Take the time to arrange your fridge in a neat and tidy manner. Put bottles of water, orange juice and salad dressings in the door. Put your pre-cut veggies, fruits, granola or what have you in plastic, clear storage bins (like these from Amazon). Stack the containers on top of each other so you can easily see what's in each and assess what you have a hankering for. Using square containers, instead of round ones, allows for more food storage. Put leftovers in smaller, more individual containers or in plastic baggies for grab-and-go options. Make each shelf a unit: deli meats and cheeses in a drawer, fruits in the crisper and snacks on the top and middle shelves.
Have a snack shelf. The middle shelves are prime real estate in the fridge. It's usually where you glance first after opening the glowing cornucopia. That being said, make the middle shelf your snack shelf and stock it full of healthy munchies to draw your eye. Use view-through storage containers or bins to organize your snacks: pretzels, fruit leather, SkinnyPop popcorn, string cheese and granola bars. If it's easy to see (check) and easy to reach for (check), you're more likely to eat it.
Now that your fridge is stocked full of yummy fruits and veggies, here's a simple and nutritious snack to make: Cantaloupe Cooler Juice! Watch the video below for instructions.