Keeping a healthy kitchen is vital to our daily health. We have the tips to help you keep your kitchen the healthy hub of your home!
How to Keep a Healthy Kitchen and Make it the Hub of Your Home
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The kitchen is at the heart of your home life. Every morning, it’s the place where everyone gathers together to share breakfast and get ready for the day. Every evening, your family comes together again around the dinner table to eat the delicious dinner you’ve prepared in the kitchen.
At least, that’s the stereotypical picture we have in our minds. In reality, the kitchen is almost falling into oblivion as we are pressed for time to manage our hectic deadlines in our busy lives. As a result, most homeowners tend to describe their ideal kitchen in terms of time-saving appliances. High-end technology is a top priority with appliances that range from a microwave oven to a smart fridge that can reorder food before you run out of essential ingredients.
There are also negative claims against the kitchen. Numerous fitness-conscious homeowners warn about the dangers of the kitchen and its unhealthy role in today’s diets.
In truth, it would be unfair to blame the kitchen for the health complaints of our modern and excessive lifestyles, from diabetes to obesity. Do modern kitchens make us sick? There’s no denying that the items stocked in the average kitchen pantry today are likely far different from your grandparents’ kitchen.
We need to change how we function in our kitchen! We’ve gradually made our kitchens unhealthy and harmful by spending less and less time and energy inside. It’s time to go back to the basics and turn the threatening kitchen into a haven of health for all.
Are you ready to make your kitchen the healthy hub of your home?
Health Issue #1: The Slow and Invisible Invasion
You might not want to hear this truth, but your kitchen could have mice! EWWW! Unlike the friendly mice you see in Disney’s Cinderella or the rat from Ratatouille, having rodents in your kitchen is a far less pleasant experience. Unfortunately, the apparently sweet little rodent can be the cause of harmful pest invasions that puts both your house structure and your household health at risk.
How do you know if your kitchen has become their playground? Mice can be discreet so that most people don’t know about the invasion in their home until it’s too late and an overwhelming problem. There are a few visible signs to keep an eye out for.
For a start, mice are likely to help themselves to your pantry, meaning that if you happen to find holes in your packages of rice or oats, you can be sure you’ve got some unwanted guests.
If you have pets, their food is likely to be a primary target for mice, so do make sure to check every food container for holes. Mouse droppings are, naturally, a dead giveaway, but you might need to clear out the back of your kitchen cupboard or under the sink to find these. They usually stay against walls, which can be hard to see if you have stocked shelves.
Additionally, if the home is quiet at night, you might get to hear them running and gnawing in the attic or in between the walls. As a rule of the thumb, messy cupboards are the ideal environment for rodents. Keep a clean and clear kitchen to prevent invasions!
Ah, cookies. Who doesn’t need a quick pick-me-up at the end of the day? Except that, if you’re honest, it’s never just one cookie. It’s the whole entire package, am I right?!
Indeed, junk food – and unfortunately the sweet, crunchy gorgeousness can be described as such – creates an addictive behavior. Whether you’re keeping a bag of chips or some Girl Scout Cookies in your pantry, you can be sure that once the bag has been opened, it will be consumed within minutes!
The immediate convenience of junk food poses many issues. It’s readily available and doesn’t require any additional preparation. All you need to do is to open the packet, and you’re ready to enjoy your treat.
Processed foods, however, despite their convenience, tend to offer empty calories as most nutrients have been lost in the cooking process. The seemingly harmless bag of chips you add to your grocery cart can lead to repeat purchases – they’re so delicious, how could you resist? – and severe increase in health risks. Behind each cookie hides another one, and another one and another one until your body becomes addicted to unhealthy food.
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Tackling All the Issues at Once: DECLUTTER
The safest way to address both main issues in one move is to focus your attention on organizing your kitchen. Messy cupboards can not only be an attractive platform for mice, but they also encourage households to purchase more convenient junk food – You don’t need to deal with the chaos in your pantry!
Going forward, your healthy kitchen begins with a decluttering journey. You need to be mentally ready to part with items you haven’t used in a while, from unopened cookbooks to expired food. Most step-by-step guidelines suggest using 4 separate boxes to clear the kitchen:
- Items to put away in the kitchen
- Items to put away elsewhere
- Items to give or sell
- Items to store
You’ll also need a garbage bag for everything else. You might find the process daunting but every minute you invest in decluttering makes your kitchen a healthier place.
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Make it Easy to Cook at Home
Cooking at home takes lots of time and effort and planning. For parents, it can feel like a never-ending chore, which is often the reason why tired parents rely on processed meals instead of homemade food!
However, you can take steps to make your kitchen more cook-friendly. Start with your kitchen top: You want a sturdy material that can sustain high temperatures – so you don’t have to worry about burning the surface with a hot pan. You also need something that is scratch-resistant to let you prep your food at ease. Plastic and wood countertops are not suitable for a functional kitchen. However, hard materials such as granite are a perfect match – you can even budget your top by looking here at the cost of granite.
Additionally, you’ll need all the gear to make your prep smooth, such as high-quality knives. Last, but not least, make sure to invest in non-stick pots and pans.
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Plate Your Food Like a Pro
Did you know that the way you plate your plate can affect your appetite? We tend to feel more satisfied with our meal if it’s presented on a pretty plate. I’m pretty sure this is why eating out is so appealing.
Be smart about choosing how to organize your bowls and dishes to make the most of your food. It’s a good idea to stay away from monochromatic plates. Adding a splash of color to your food, via fresh herbs and edible flowers, makes it look more appetizing.
A satisfied stomach is less likely to feel the need to overeat or compensate via junk food. If you want to really put a lot of effort into it, you can gear up with thin tweezers to place tiny ingredients on the plate or a squeeze bottle to add playful drops of sauce.
What About a Breakfast Nook?
How much time do you usually invest in preparing your breakfast? More and more people skip breakfast because they don’t have enough time in the kitchen in the morning.
However, you can sort out the time issue by creating a cozy breakfast nook at home. Ultimately, the nook is designed to make the most of unused corners in the kitchen area. But more importantly, it’s an accessible and casual space in which you can enjoy a quick breakfast before the start of your day.
Placing a table next to your main appliances means that you can quickly grab a cup of coffee and fill a bowl of yummy granola with some yogurt. Skipping breakfast is never a good idea. It increases the risks of cravings during the day. But keeping your breakfast table ready can make a huge difference!
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Creating Good Healthy Habits
You can’t banish junk food from your kitchen without finding a quality replacement. As junk food has the advantage of being available at all time, you need to find an alternative that provides the same availability.
A subscription to veg box can do just the trick! You can sign up to a weekly delivery that brings the best of natural farm produce directly to your front door, which makes it easy to stick to a healthy diet. Additionally, if you’re worried about getting bored, local farms have many seasonal veggies and fruits, meaning that you’ll never eat twice the same thing!
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Your kitchen can create a sensory experience that enhances your meal satisfaction. Using aromas – such as planting aromatic herbs – can dramatically transform your relationship with food. Basil, for instance, brings a soothing sense, while rosemary and orange blossom fill you with energy.
Adding smells to the kitchen can also affect how you interact with your meal and increase or decrease your appetite. You can eat healthy food using your nose too, which can cut down all your cravings!
Forget about kitchen remodels and design trends. The kitchen of the future is dedicated to your health. It doesn’t take much to turn your unhappy kitchen into a haven of health and nutrition.
Are you ready to make changes for the best and create a healthy kitchen?
Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!