National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, and this year our wellness chef has a challenge. Every year Nutrition Month has a theme, and this year is eating healthy bite-by-bite. This can mean eating one more piece of fruit a day, looking more closely at labels, or in this case, eating out less frequently. Preparing foods at home can not only help us to have better variety, but also to eat foods with less sodium and saturated fats.

Meet the Chef

Sierra Peters is a wellness chef and mom of three little ones, and even she got tired of the “we have food at home” talk. The challenge was born after hearing her kids say that there was NOTHING to eat at home and also because eating out gets pretty pricey!
Sierra was more than willing to talk about the challenge and what it means to her family.

“I want to fuel their little bodies and minds with good, nutritious foods. We needed a reset.”

Enter The Pantry Challenge. The three biggest reasons for this were:

1. Take time off from spending or reassessing your grocery budget.
2. Reduce waste, clear out old food, and rotate your inventory.
3. Reset and learn to be more mindful of what you are eating and buying, creating healthier and hopefully long-lasting habits.

The Rules

food from pantry on counter topThe overall goal of a pantry challenge is simple—to go a set amount of time, or as long as you can make it, on just the food you already have in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Sierra noted that, for them, this meant: “No trips to the grocery store, no delivery of meals or groceries, and no Thrive Market.”

She attempted this for two-three weeks and took it as an opportunity to clear out all of the extra stuff that had accumulated over time and replace it with more healthy and nutritious options.

“We truly don’t have a lot of what I would consider junk food, so it shouldn’t be a difficult transition for us,” she said.

The Results

Day one was spent cleaning out the panty! She categorized items by: what was near expiration, what could be used, and the basics. Sierra did report going to the store this one day to get about $40 of staples and additional items she may need for the next few weeks; after all the goal is to make healthful foods from pantry items.

She found that it is amazing how many recipes could be made out of pantry staples. Healthful yet inexpensive foods, such as whole grains, low-sodium canned and frozen vegetables, and eggs are easy to keep on hand and make delicious meals the whole family can enjoy. Overall, Sierra reports this was a great experience and something that helped her family have a fresh start and save money over the next couple weeks.

Can you handle this challenge?