Spring Clean Your Fridge

March 30, 2009 9:48:56 AM PDT
It's that time of year that we're spring cleaning ? so it's a perfect time to give your fridge a makeover too. Registered dietitian Christine Palumbo has some tips for keeping a healthy and safe fridge.

BASIC TIPS

Take inventory ? once a month go through your fridge and throw away old items and wipe down the fridge.

Keep your refrigerator between 35 and 38 degrees temperature keeping it at this temperature helps to slow bacteria from growing. Only freezing completely stop bacteria from growing.

Keep healthy items in front ? not way in the back where you can't see them. This way you will eat the freshest items first

Make a list and stick to it. keep your list on the fridge and write down the items that you need ? only buy what you need for that week and shop once a week to keep things fresh

SWAP HEALTHY FOODS FOR LESS HEALTHY ONES

· 100 percent orange juice versus those imposter drinks that look like they're healthy but packed with empty calories.

· Replace high calorie items with better choices. It may seem obvious, but it's worth the reminder about how many calories you can save with the lighter versions

o Lean meats like turkey and ham instead of bologna and chicken or tuna salad.
o Low calorie versions of mayo and salad dressing
o Non fat plain yogurt instead of sour cream
o Reduced-fat cheese instead of full fat cheese

MAKE PRODUCE A PRIORITY

o Don't put veggies and fruits in a drawer where you will forget about them ? when you get home from the store clean them, cut up and put into containers that you can easily access and take on the go. If you clean right away, you must eat right away or they will go bad quickly. Good incentive to eat fresh!

HOW LONG WILL IT LAST IN THE FRIDGE?

o Expiration dates ? do we really have to throw out on the date on the box? - YES, Better safe than sorry

o Leftovers ? how long can that spaghetti and meat balls stay good in the fridge? ? One week, max.

o What about fruits and veggies? - About 7-10 days. Anything after that and they may look good but the nutritional content of the food drastically drops.


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