Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Organizing The Fridge for Healthy 'Fast Food' At Home

August is here and that not only means that school will be starting soon, but August is also 'sports camp' month for many families. The rush of early mornings for us begins weeks before school even starts.
With a teen working a full-time job for the summer and a tween going to hockey camp full-time in August, regular meal-time can be a bit of a challenge around these parts.
One way I have learned to help keep our family on track in eating healthy, home-cooked meals is to have the fridge organized with several 'FAST FOOD' meals ready to go.This way, if a child misses meal time at home, or Mom is not home to cook dinner, there is always something to eat! Let me share with you how I create a fridge full of 'FAST FOOD'. 

You may remember that a few months ago, I had the honor of being chosen as a Frigidaire Canada Ambassador, and a beautiful Frigidaire Gallery French Door Fridge was delivered to our home. With the space this Fridge offers, organizing food & meals for our family has become easier than ever!
If you take a peek inside our fridge right now, you would see stacks of containers that look like this(below).
Inside these containers are foods that can make a few different meals in a jiffy.
They are all pre-cooked or prepared here at home and only need to be dished out or heated up.
I try to organize enough FAST FOOD to last a few days at at time, and the foods vary. Let's look at this more in depth, shall we?
In order for our 'FAST FOOD' shelf to work inside our fridge, I did a bit of re-arranging and actually removed one shelf for now. {And with the beauty of this fridge, the organizing options are endless.}
Here you see our 'FAST FOOD' shelf.
With this shelf, anyone at any time can make themselves a healthy meal in mere minutes by making a plate of food with the choices available.
Here is what is on the menu this week:
Breakfast Foods:
Pancakes, Berries, Oatmeal and Boiled Eggs.
{Other choices could be: waffles, knock-off egg  mcmuffins, quiche, or bacon & egg cups}
Lunches & Dinners:
Spaghetti Sauce, Pasta, Potato Salad, Greek Salad*, Brown Rice, Chicken Breasts,  and Ham & Cheese Sandwiches.
{*Greek Salad has no dressing. It is added when served.}
{Other choices could be: pasta salad, quinoa, white rice, meatballs, soups, chili, taco fixings, fajita fixings, lasagna, etc.}
Having food ready like this makes it much easier for my teen and tween to make healthy choices when they arrive home from their activities starving.
How do I do all this? Here's how it works:
Let me share with you how it only takes about 1-2 hours to prepare these healthy FAST FOODS for the fridge.
It just takes a bit of planning in deciding what to cook and then committing to a few hours to make the food.
I begin by putting a batch of rice in the rice cooker, and then I get 4 pots on the stove at once to cook: a batch of spaghetti sauce, pasta, oatmeal and boiled eggs.
At the same time, I put a pan of chicken breasts in the oven to cook.
And while these things are cooking, I make a salad/salads and cut up fruits and veggies and put them in containers.
As the other foods finish cooking, I let them cool and put them in containers and label them with  masking tape and a sharpie.
I like to use square containers of the same brand because they stack well and make the fridge look tidy.
In addition to these meals, I also organize snacks and drinks in fridge bins under the fast food shelf.
This makes it easy for kids to grab a few healthy snacks for their bag as they head out the door.

The SNACK BIN often contains:
Yogurt, apple sauce,  and baggies with fruits and veggies.
The drink bin often contains: juice boxes, shelf-safe milk in single servings and YOPs.
And inside the full-width drawer are to-go cheeses:
Lots of apples are in the fruit bin. My kids love them and they pack well.
And here is the how the rest of the fridge is organized... more fresh veggies in the veggie bin.
The full-width deli-drawer with cold meats, dips, cheese and small veggies.
The large bins in the freezer are organized so that the right side contains things for meals, and the left side contains frozen fruit, frozen breakfast food and frozen treats.
And the top freezer bin contains frozen breads, frozen bananas for smoothies and ice packs for lunches.
The door bins are organized by category so things are easy to find.
And I know that we can't be the only family that has a whole bin devoted to mustards? You have one too, right? {wink}
Having things organized like this not only makes items easy to find, but also easy to put away.
We do love our condiments and spicy sauces in this house!
Thank you so much for being here with me today to see how I organize FAST FOOD for my family.
I think organizing food like this is a HUGE sanity-saver for any family. Whether you have teens, tweens or little ones in the house, it's a great way to stay ahead of the game in keeping the family eating healthy, nutritious, real food.
How about you? 
Do you have certain foods cooked and ready in the fridge  to help in making meals fast & easy?
Please share your organizing tips in the comments!

For more ideas on organizing your home, don't forget to visit these Pinterest Boards:

Disclosure: I am part of the Frigidaire Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

This post is linked to:
The 36th Avenue, The Shabby Creek Cottage, I Gotta Create, The Frugal Girls, Tidy Mom, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, Liz Marie Blog, Inspiration Gallery, Link Party Palooza, It's Overflowing, What's Cooking With Ruthie,  Under The Table & Dreaming, Craft-O-Maniac, Uncommon, Aalderberry Hill,  A Pretty Life, I`m An Organizing Junkie, Skip To My Lou, Cozy Little House, Homestories A to Z,  Time To Sparkle, Chef-In-Training, The DIY Dreamer, Frugal Mom Eh, Gingersnap Crafts, The Inspiration Exchange,  Savvy Southern Style, Block Party Linky Party, I Heart Organizing,  Tidy Mom, The Frugal Girls,Whipperberry,

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