We all know eating healthy is good for us, but sometimes it still requires a little … motivation. Setting up your fridge so that fruit, vegetables, and other smart foods are in plain sight makes you more likely to eat them, studies show. Wellness blogger and influencer Kristen Hong dished on several organization hacks to transform your refrigerator into a lean, mean, meal-prep machine! Read on to find out what she sad.
1. Stow Veggies in Clear Storage Containers
Hong advises storing fruit and vegetables in clear glass food storage containers. Not only do they ensure that raw and cooked foods will last longer — chopped vegetables, such as carrots and red cabbage, stay fresh for more than a week this way — they also encourage good-for-you habits. In fact, studies show that seeing is eating: We munch on about 25 percent more fruit and veggies when they’re clearly visible. Says Hong, “When you can identify your next healthy meal just by opening your fridge, you’re much more likely to eat well, because you won’t have to think about it!”
2. Banish Cravings With Aluminum Foil
What if your fridge is stocked with nutritious staples … except for the chocolate cake you made for visiting family? When you’re storing decadent dishes in your fridge, covering them with foil or a tea towel will help curb your cravings. We also snack on junk food half as much when it’s not visible: out of sight, out of mind!
3. Keep Greens Fresh in Mason Jar ‘Vases’
Hong also has a clever trick for keeping greens fresh while maximizing space. “With the amount of herbs I eat, my fridge’s produce drawers just don’t cut it,” she says.
Instead, she stands up flavorful staples, like parsley, basil, and green onions, in mason jars with a little water at the bottom, then loosely drapes a plastic bag over them. Says Hong, “Fresh produce loves being housed the way it naturally grows — plus, this trick takes advantage of vertical space, freeing up your drawers.”
4. Make Smoothies With a Fruit-Filled Freezer Bar
If you love breakfast smoothies, but don’t have time to make them in the morning, stock your freezer with pre-prepped “smoothie packets,” advises Hong. Fill plastic baggies with the chopped fruit of your choice and line them up at the front of your freezer. Voila! No more burrowing for half-full bags of berries. Simply toss the contents of a bag in the blender, add milk, and puree.
5. Slash Calories with Kondo-Style Clean-Outs
You’ve likely heard of organizational guru Marie Kondo, who believes that everything we own should “spark joy.” While this strategy is usually reserved for closet messes, the same principle can apply to fridge clutter. “Just toss anything that makes you feel guilty, including leftovers you just don’t want to eat,” says Hong. “Letting go of foods that don’t make you happy frees space for healthier options.”
After all, as Hong points out, “When fresh foods are the star of your fridge, you’ll want to make them the star of your plate.”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.