Congrats on graduating to adulthood! With your health in your own hands, be sure to equip your kitchen with the right tools.
BY: JENNA GORHAM, RD
Whether you’re just making the transition to adulthood, living on your own for the first time, or have been at it for a few years, it can be hard to know where to start as you take ownership of your own body and health.
One area that you’ll likely focus on is eating healthier, and finding more ways to be proactive and prepared is at the top of your list. However, meal prep can feel overwhelming and you may feel like you don’t even know what foods to eat. You’re not hungry for breakfast or lunch, and it’s easier just to pick something up on the way home for dinner.
Keeping your kitchen pantry stocked with healthy foods and ingredients is key. Writing out a grocery list of foods to stock your pantry, fridge, or freezer will make it a lot easier for those busy weeknights. Healthy eating is a million times easier when you’re prepared and stocked with healthy foods you like and will actually use. Here are the top 5 things you should always have stocked in your pantry:
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a staple. It’s a heart-healthy oil you can use to season your roasted veggies, grease your pans, or use as a back-up or go-to salad dressing.
2. Pyrex Containers
Welcome to adulthood! You’re now responsible for packing your own lunch. Pyrex containers and other tupperware are key to making packing a breeze. By storing leftovers, you instantly have lunch or dinner ready to go for the next day. They’re also great for carrying snacks, sauces, dressings, overnight oats, and just about anything else you can think of.
Keeping a few of your favorite spices on hand are an easy way to add tons of flavor. A few essentials to consider are:
- Cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger for oatmeal, yogurt, and smoothies
- Rosemary for roasted veggies
- Paprika and cumin for veggies or roasted chickpeas
- Italian seasoning for pizzas and pastas
- Curry, turmeric, and ginger for stirfries
4. Go-To Healthy Snacks
Find a few easy and tasty snacks that you always keep on hand. A snack should keep you full until your next meal – choose whole grains, lean meats, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and fiber to fill you up, such as:
- Turkey and cheese
- Cut up veggies and fruits
- Roasted chickpeas
- Greek yogurt
5. Frozen Fruits & Veggies
Frozen fruits and veggies are a great way to always have them on hand, but it’s helpful to buy whatever is on sale – frozen fruit can sometimes be expensive. Another option is to freeze your own fruits and veggies that on on their last leg. Shop the discount rack and stock up on almost-expired fruits and veggies to freeze and use later.
HEADER IMAGE: KAROLINA GRABOWSKA
Jenna Gorham, RD is a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Bozeman, Montana focused on helping 20-somethings improve their health by making healthy eating easy. By emphasizing nutrition is more than the latest fad diet and trend, Jenna bridges a better understanding of the body’s needs with simple, long-lasting lifestyle habits that help others achieve the best health.