Shannon Center Weekly Nutrition Tip – The Great Pantry Cleanup

Now that summer is winding down and people are heading back to school, it’s a great time to reorganize your pantry and get ready for the upcoming school year. To make your life just a little bit easier, go through these steps one by one to clear out the clutter so you won’t have an excuse to not prepare healthy meals! Start with your pantry and repeat for other food cabinets and your refrigerator/freezer.

  1. Take EVERYTHING out. It can’t be avoided.
  2. Clean and sanitize!
  3. Now look at expiration dates. Toss and/or recycle what you can. You will be AMAZED at some of the expiration dates on the foods in your house. I just found a box of graham cracker crumbs dating back to 2007! Stick with my rule: if in doubt, throw it out!
  4. Put aside unhealthy items (such as boxed meals, sugary cereals, etc.) and donate them to your local food pantry.
  5. Organize your pantry:
    1. Keep supplies and food you need for packing lunches near the front.
    2. Purchase some bins to store your Ziploc baggies and storage in so you can pull them out and put them back easily.
    3. Put your baking goods in the back or up higher as you do not use those as much.
    4. When unpacking groceries, try to put the new groceries in BACK of the old ones so the older items get eaten first
    5. Make a grocery list. Try to plan meals at least one week in advance and shop for all items once a week.
    6. Stay tuned next week for a shopping guide!


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Kelly Devine Rickert, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

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