How To: Spring Pantry Refresh

How is your pantry looking these days? Does it need a spring refresh? Get your kids involved to help you clean it out and work together to reset!

Author: Heidi Tissot

RD, LD Hannaford Dietitian

A spring cleaning of your pantry gives you a chance to reset, refresh and reorganize! We know as busy parents life is easier when we can find what we need quickly instead of digging through a tangled mess of cans and jars. Also, nearly everyone is looking to save money on their food budget, so a reset will allow you to curb spending by taking inventory and eating some things you have already spent money on. You can even make a special visit to a food pantry with your kids to donate unopened items you may not use. This teaches them valuable lessons about helping others and appreciating the food they have on their plates!

Food waste can be minimized by taking regular inventory of what needs to be eaten before it is stale or past it’s prime. Look at “Best If Used By” and “Use By” dates which indicate the recommended date for best quality and flavor. Items such as spices can lose flavor if used past these dates. With the exception of infant formula, federal laws do not require manufacturers to add safety dates to products, meaning many foods may be safe to eat after the manufacturer’s quality date on the package. Before throwing out perfectly edible foods, check first for spoilage, usually indicated by an off odor, texture or flavor.

It is a great feeling to be resourceful with seemingly random or half used ingredients by finding a purpose for them in recipes. The Snack Pals website has a fantastic collection of kid and family-friendly recipes that you can look through to use up and enjoy some of those pantry ingredients. This is also a wonderful way to engage your children by letting them select a recipe with some of the ingredients you already have on hand! Involving children in cooking new recipes is also a lovely way to help them expand their horizons with new foods and great nutrition. Check out this tasty and energy-packed Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bumps recipe to get started.

Enjoy organizing and turning it into a fun family project!

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