Your Food Choices
Take a closer look at the foods you keep in your kitchen. What do you find in your cabinets and refrigerator? If there are mostly healthy foods from our best choices list, you are doing a good job.
When your home supports a healthy lifestyle, it will be easier for you to meet your health and weight loss goals. Use this home inventory to explore the foods you keep in your home.
Where do the foods in your kitchen rank on a scale of 1 to 5?
1 — Almost all healthy foods
3 — About half junk food and half healthy food
5 — Mostly high-calorie junk food
- If you rank 1 – Congratulations! You are purchasing foods that will help you meet your healthy lifestyle goals.
- If you rank 3 – You are on your way. For many people, the best way to success is to provide yourself with mostly healthy foods and to limit junk foods. Remember - if it’s not there, you can’t eat it!
- If you rank 5 – It will be difficult to reach your health and weight loss goals with the food choices available to you. A good step would be to make a list of less healthy foods you need to toss out and stop buying from the store. You can also try using our Sample Shopping List as a guide next time you go to the supermarket.
What NOT to buy
List foods that are so irresistible that you cannot help but overeat when they are in the house:
Remember the foods above. Make an effort to keep them off your grocery list from now on.
Here are some other tips that may be helpful for cutting back on portions and cooking healthier at home.
Portion control tools
Get familiar with your glasses and dishware:
- Measure glasses and record the number of ounces each glass holds.
- Measure bowls for reference and get familiar with how 4 ounces (1/2 cup), 6 ounces (3/4 cup), and 8 ounces (1 cup) looks. Are you eating bigger portions than you thought you were?
- Look at the plates in your kitchen. Do some measuring to get a sense of how 4 ounces of meat, 1 cup of vegetables, and 1/2 cup of pasta or grains looks on a plate.
- Review Create Your Plate, which is a simple portion control tool that you can use almost anywhere.
Your Kitchen Equipment
Cooking pans, pots and utensils
Stock your kitchen with the basic equipment listed below. This will set you up with everything you need to prepare healthy meals at home. What do you already have? What do you still need to get?
- Knives — 3 or 4-inch paring knife, a serrated knife, and a 6 or 10-inch chef’s knife
- Soup ladle and large spoons for stove top cooking — slotted, wooden, and a sturdy metal spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing utensils — hand held electric mixer and a wire whisk
- Spatulas/rubber scrapers
- Cutting boards
- Nonstick pots and pans
- Vegetable peeler and cheese grater
- Can opener
Kitchen Clean Up
Set aside some time to clean out your kitchen. Inventory food stored in your cabinets and pantry. Get rid of any foods that you don’t want around. Clean out the fridge too, and throw out any food that is expired. Below is a list of how long some foods should be stored in the refrigerator:
- Fresh fish – 1 to 2 days if stored on ice and wrapped tightly
- Fresh poultry – 1 to 2 days; 1 day if cut into pieces
- Beef or Pork – 3 to 5 days; if ground or chopped, use within 2 days
- Cream, half-and-half – 3 to 4 days
- Luncheon meats – 3 to 5 days after opening, 2 weeks if unopened
- Milk – 5 to 7 days after the sell-by date
- Soft cheese – 1 week, if stored in an airtight container (discard if mold develops)
- Hot Dogs – 7 days after sell-by date
- Cream cheese – 1 to 2 weeks
- Butter – 3 weeks if covered, 1 to 3 months unopened
- Hard cheese – 3 to 4 weeks opened (6 months unopened)
- Eggs in the shell – 3 to 5 weeks if purchased before the date on the carton
Last Reviewed: August 23, 2013
Last Edited: August 27, 2013
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