Easy Pantry Makeover Tips

All Ages

If your pantry is sabotaging your family’s eating habits, it’s time for a makeover! A well-stocked, organized pantry makes mealtime easy and nutritious. Use our simple strategies to help you stock a healthy pantry.

Toss the junk

You don’t have to turn your pantry into a health food shrine, but it’s best to limit the amount of junk food in your house. Minimize the number of items with high sugar, salt and fat content (think cookies, chips, candy, sodas).

If you do keep a few junk food tokens on hand, put them in the back or up high. Store nutritious foods front and center.

Pick whole grains

Cereals, pastas, breads, flour ... they all come in whole-grain varieties, which is best. Check the front of the package for the label “100% whole grain,” or check the ingredients list to make sure “whole grain” (like whole wheat, whole corn, etc.) is the first ingredient.

Choose cans carefully

Many canned goods are high in salt and preservatives. Go with "no-salt-added" vegetable versions, and be sure to rinse veggies well before cooking. Choose fruit canned in 100 percent juice or water, without any artificial sweeteners or syrups. Look for canned soups that include beans and vegetables, and are broth-based (instead of creamy).

Pick the right organics

Organics may be worth the money if you’re going to eat the skin of a food (like an apple, berries or bell peppers). Otherwise, not so much (for example, bananas and avocados).

Toss the trans fats

You don’t want these bad-for-you fats in your pantry. If the ingredients include "partially hydrogenated" oils, it contains trans fats (even if the nutrition facts state zero grams).

Add some spices

Set the saltshaker aside and use either fresh or dried herbs and spices, or salt-free seasonings instead.