The design of the kitchen and the way the space is created can actually encourage healthy eating. Here is an experiment we are trying in our own kitchen that is actually working well for us. We designed two pantries on opposite sides of the kitchen. Stage left is the kids pantry; stage right is the totally healthy pantry. Let’s face it, as clean as we try to keep our family’s food pantry, our kids and the army of friends they invite enjoy the occasional taste of cookies, chips, and pretzels. These items, along with healthy snack choices, reside only in the kids’ pantry and not in “our” healthy food pantry. We stock the healthy food pantry with items such as sunflower seeds, brown rice cakes and crackers, a variety of raw nuts, dried fruit, organic energy bars (packaged and homemade), organic Fig Newmans, Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Cookies, whole grain cereal, oatmeal, and protein powder shake mixes.
Whenever we feel the urge to reach for a snack other than fruit or veggies, our fingers don’t even touch the knobs on the kids pantry. We head straight to the healthy pantry and make our choice from the options that reside there. So far, it is working well. In fact, the kids are often heading stage right as well–especially when there are pistachio nuts in there!