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9 Ways To Organize Your Pantry

** I have been compensated for this post. All opinions and views are that solely of mine. **

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As a Mom it can be hard to keep anything in my house clean, let alone organized. The one thing I was determined to do when I flew the coup and moved into my new home was to keep our pantry as organized, tidy and neat as possible. We all know what kind of chaos can ensue with a toddler around! Why the pantry you’re wondering? Well, I love cooking! If my pantry is disorganized, I feel like I’m running around trying to keep the pots from boiling over, or the knife from my 2 ½ year old daughter’s hand. I just want to make sure that the items I’m going to be using in my dish are all neatly accessible to me.

I actually did a lot of research about what type of pantry I wanted mine to be- functional of course but also pretty too! Yes, pantries can be pretty (Lol!) I thought I would share 9 ways to organize your pantry since many of you have various questions about how I keep ours neat! Here are some of my tips for you all!

  1. Use Clear Containers-This storage solution is especially helpful for bulk-bin items, like rice, grains, and nuts. With neatly labeled clear containers, gone are the days of having four partially open bags of quinoa.
  2. Assess your pantry on a weekly basis- Keeping your pantry organized and in good shape doesn’t have to be a big task. Instead, make it part of your weekly meal-planning routine by taking a few minutes to do a quick inventory. Knowing what’s in there is the best way to make sure you’re cooking and eating what you already have, and avoid buying multiples of the same thing.
  3. Use sheet pans to group like with like- Heavy-duty and multipurpose, sheet pans and hotel pans make especially good organizers. Not only do they make grouping like ingredients together easy, but they’re also a great way to contain any inadvertent spills or leaks.

  4. Take 10 minutes every day to keep your pantry clean and tidy- A few everyday tasks that take just a few minutes — like wiping down pantry shelves, keeping package labels facing outward and visible, grouping like items together, and tossing expired items — will leave you with an always-tidy pantry.

  5. Make use of household items to give your pantry more storage space- From crates and space-saving racks to pencil holders and magazine racks, household items can be a smart and inexpensive way to add even more storage to your pantry.

  6. Put Lids On The Door- If your pantry is big enough to hold all your pots and pants, use the door for lid storage! I love utilizing the lid handles to keep the items in place! It’s such a genius idea!

  7. Add Wallpaper or a Fun Design- Most pantries just have bare walls. Why not spruce it up a bit with adding a fun background design to make it a more inviting and brighter space to store your pantry items!

  8. Create Fun Shelving – Similar to adding wallpaper or a fun design to make my pantry stand out, I also want the shelving to look nice, clean and orderly. Premier Surfaces has a wide variety of options to choose from when thinking of a surface to use in your pantry.

    Image Courtesy- Premiere Surfaces

    Premier Surfaces is based in Atlanta but also has other stores in Alabama and Tennessee, and specialize in high quality surfaces like sturdy granite, marble or wood.  I love the way it makes my shelving look when I add containers and cans in my pantry!

  9. Add Hangers- If you have chips that are super bulky I hate trying to shove it into a small spot or a box. Now, just add some old children’s hangers to keep them fresh (and clipped)! Plus they free up space on my shelves too! It’s such a fun little hack!

So these are some of my easy organization pantry ideas that you can all try! If you have any other ideas, I can’t wait to hear about them! As long as your pantry fits you and your family’s needs, you are going to be well equipped with the tools you need to keep it manageable, fun and best of all, organized!

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Healthy Snacks To Keep In The Car

Sometimes life is busy, you are in the car and on the go! This is when it can be especially helpful to have healthy options for the car that you can have ready 24/7, for days where life is not slowing down. I have a plethora of ideas for healthy snacks to keep in the car.

As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, this is something that I discuss with clients quite often. Today, I’m sharing my go-to suggestions with you all! The food ideas will be split into categories by food group. This lists are not exhaustive, but they should give you a few ideas as you start building your healthy car snack stash. It can also be helpful to keep a bag of napkins and utensils in the car for some of the options.

Note: Asterisks* indicate ideas for your littlest ones. During development, it is important to introduce a variety of foods from different food groups as you expand your child’s palate. If you are unsure if your baby is ready for a new food, it’s best to consult your pediatrician before introducing the food.

⛤Whole grains are a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals in the diet. They are sometimes even a good protein source!

Here are few ideas to try:

  • Granolas Dietitian tip: Look for options with minimal added sugars.
  • Muesli
  • Popcorn
  • Whole grain cereals* (some options may be suitable for baby)
  • Whole grain crackers

When we think of whole grains, we often think of wheat, but there are a variety of other grains and starches as well. Here are a few to look for: amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, cornmeal, kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, wheat, and wild rice.

⛤Vegetables are great sources of fiber vitamins and minerals.

Look for these creative options:

  • Freeze dried vegetables Dietitian tip: I look for options where the main or only ingredient is the veggie.
  • Beets, carrots, corn, edamame, okra, peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes etc.
  • Dried vegetables
  • Kale chips, zucchini, etc.
  • Olive cups
  • Baby friendly, shelf-stable vegetables in jars or pouches*

⛤Fruits are great sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates!

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Freeze dried fruits Dietitian tip: I look for no sugar added- just the fruit!
  • Apples, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, mangoes, raspberries, strawberries, etc
  • Dried fruits
    Apples, cranberries, dates, figs, raisins, prunes, etc.
  • Fruit cups where the fruit is in water or fruit juice
  • Baby friendly, shelf-stable fruits in jars or pouches*

⛤There a plenty of protein options that you can keep in the car.

Check these out:

Nuts Dietitian tip: Look for unsalted options.

  • Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, etc.
  • Nut butter individual packs* Dietitian recommendation: consult your pediatrician first for your little ones
  • Seeds
  • Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Meat packages-
    Tuna, salmon, chicken, etc.
  • Protein powders that can be added to water
  • Baby friendly, shelf stables meats in jars or pouches*

⛤Meal bars can also be a great staple to keep in the car for the adults and bigger kiddos. I look for bars with whole food ingredients like nuts, fruits, and vegetables. These are two of my go-to brands, currently.
Larabars and RX bars

You can also make mini or full meals by combining foods from the options above into a trail mix. Dried blueberries and almonds is a great option, which I have pictured here, but the possibilities are endless!

I hope this list of healthy snacks to keep in the car has been helpful to you all. If you do have any questions, feel free to reach out at aimee@nutritionelevated.com
Happy healthy snacking!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aimee Sarchet is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Arizona. Her company, Nutrition Elevated, LLC exists with the goal of making nutrition understandable and practical- simple! She specializes in adult weight management and irritable bowel syndrome and partners with clients to achieve their goals in a way that is sustainable long-term. In her free time, you can find her producing videos for her Youtube account, Nutrition Elevated.

Website: http://www.nutritionelevated.com
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