As long as I can remember, I have had a shelf in my fridge labeled “Toppings”. Think ice cream. Hot chocolate. Pancakes. Kind of toppings. The shelf included whipped cream, chocolate syrup, caramel topping, vanilla creamer, syrup, jelly, and as of late, even some vanilla flavoring. It was my yummy shelf.
One day a few weeks ago, as I was struggling to find space in my kitchen refrigerator for some pre-prepped healthy snacks, a light bulb went off. I thought, “Why is this sugary stuff taking up valuable real estate in my kitchen refrigerator? I rarely use it, so why do I have it displayed front and center on the door?”
I remembered my own “In Sight, In Mind” logic.
I realized that I could move my “Toppings” shelf out to my garage refrigerator. And I would have a whole shelf open that I could fill with healthy snacks. My pre-cut veggies, hummus, and smoothie leftovers would now have a much more convenient, consistent home right at our finger tips. The kids and I would be more likely to eat the healthy snacks if they were accessible and visible, and we always knew where to find them.
I moved the “Toppings” shelf to the refrigerator in my garage. Now there are 15 steps between whipped cream and my kids and me. We either have to walk farther to get the junk, or we forget we even have it because we aren’t seeing the temptation every time we open the refrigerator.
With my new healthy shelf, I made some new goals. My goal is to always have pre-cut carrots and celery on hand, plus one other veggie that I will rotate. We started out with snap peas and now we are moving on to red and yellow peppers. Cauliflower just might be next. This way my children can be exposed to more veggies, but still have some familiar ones around as well. After I wash and cut the veggies, I store them in a glass mason jar with a little water. They seem to last for a long time that way.
I am happy with my small refrigerator changes and it has been super easy to pull out cut carrots or celery for snack or drink a smoothie for breakfast. And because everything is visible, I am reminded to eat the healthy stuff more often. I know how much we have left and when I need to prep more. Vegetables don’t get eaten as often if they are tucked away in a drawer. My kids still like whipped cream on their hot chocolate, but now they have to walk a few more extra steps to get it.
Some times a small change can make a big difference.