The Right Way to Store Your Food

By: Carolyn Malcoun  |  Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My husband and I are immersed in what seems like an endless struggle to lose stubborn pounds. You too? Well, Lainey Younkin, M.S., R.D., reported some news in the September/October 2015 issue of EatingWell that could be game-changing for us.
Did you know that how you store your food can influence how many calories you consume? “You’re three times more likely to grab the first food you see than the fifth food,” says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of Slim by Design. In one study, people ate almost twice as much candy from clear vs. opaque bowls—55 extra calories daily, which can add up to 5-6 pounds of weight gain per year.
So I’m on a mission to make healthy foods easier to see and tempting foods not so much. Here’s how:
Super-healthy foods that we should eat more of, like cut-up fruits and vegetables and ready-to-toss salad ingredients, get stored in clear containers.
Leftovers that are healthy but I shouldn’t necessarily reach for first, like whole-wheat pasta and chili, go in semi-see-through. (Plus, how cute are these containers?)
Anything that I might have around that constitutes a calorie-buster (hello, leftover brownies) goes in opaque containers.
This is particularly helpful for my husband—he works at home and has little bandwidth when it comes to making lunch. Without a game plan, he usually just grabs the first thing he sees.
But it also helps me pack up my lunches and snacks more quickly. I always bring cut-up veggies and dip to snack on, fruit too, so if they’re in see-through containers it makes the morning rush go a little more smoothly.
It’s also great for our 3-year-old daughter. Lila has taken to opening the refrigerator herself and she asks for what she can see—in our case these days, carrot sticks and chunks of cantaloupe!
Some of our favorite containers are pictured above. The left stack includes Rubbermaid Glass Easy Find Lids (top two) and SnapWare Glasslock. In the right stack: Lifefactory (orange, green), Pyrex (blue dots), Calypso Basic (yellow).
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