The kitchen is the one room of the house that is used several times on a daily basis. It is where you provide nourishment for your family, bake with your children, catch up for the day, and gather for family holidays and visits. Food really does bring people together and serves as a reminder of the memories that were created. Who could forget Granny’s delicious home made pumpkin pie?!
The kitchen holds an opportunity for us to get creative with ourselves and involve our children, all while teaching them what real food is, how it can nourish our body temples and educate them on which foods that don’t.
When we get busy, it sometimes seems much simpler to just order in some take out, (and yes we ALL do that on occasion). However, creating a healthy relationship with food on a consistent basis that involves some fun, experimentation, music and laughter can be a wonderful habit to create and enjoy!
Growing fresh herbs or plants on your kitchen is a great way to bring the outdoors in year round. It is also fun for the kids to pick some fresh basil to toss in to the pasta sauce for dinner!
Whether you are building a home, renovating an existing one, just moving in, or want to re-organize your kitchen, think about how you will use that space. Your sink location and major appliances will help dictate what you want to store, and where. Even if it takes some trial and error of using the space and rearranging – Thats ok!
These are some simple strategies you can use to maximize your space so cooking can be done with less effort and ease.
First things first! Declutter your kitchen! It’s the first step to organizing any room, and allows for a positive flow of energy. Trying to cook in a chaotic environment isn’t exactly relaxing. If you are moving, do a purge before hand so you aren’t bringing any unnecessary things into your space.
Next, group like items together! This will make the flow of prepping food so much easier. Cooking and baking items should be kept close together and near where you do your food preparation. Glasses kept next to the refrigerator and plates near the dishwasher so its accessible to use and to put away. Be mindful of where you tend to dish up your meals.
Keep your pantry items in one location, using glass containers or mason jars to store your grains and other dried goods will make it simple to layout and see what you have on hand.
Find a space for larger appliances that’s easily accessible to pull out and put away, keep harder to reach areas for things that you may use occasionally throughout the year.
Clean out your refrigerator regularly! When my food delivery comes once a week I like to wipe things down and organize any unused food keeping it aside from the new delivery so nothing goes to waste! If you make the time when you do your shopping to wash and store your fresh foods it makes food prep time shorter so your more likely to follow through with your meal plan. Again, any storage should be done in clear glass containers so it’s easy to see what you have and prevents plastics from leaching into your foods.
When things are laid out and easy to see and use, you can focus your time on creation, cooking, and spending that quality time together that is cherished the most! Creating these systems and teaching them to our children at a young age will only help to sustain long term healthy habits and form a foundation for them once they grow and leave the family nest.