serving the families of Douglas and Sarpy Counties.

Basic Ingredients for a Healthy Kitchen

The first step to start cooking healthy is to stock your kitchen with a variety of foods that you can throw together for healthy meals in a hurry.

Keep these foods on hand for fast meals on busy nights.


In the cupboard

  • Beans: Black, pinto, kidney, chickpeas, lentils, refried
  • Rice: Brown, long-grain rice mixes
  • Pasta: Whole-wheat spaghetti, fettuccini, penne, bowtie, ramen noodles
  • Other grains: Couscous, orzo, cornmeal, whole-wheat crackers, breadsticks, bread crumbs
  • Onions
  • Canned tomatoes: Diced, whole, seasoned, sun-dried, sauce, salsa
  • Canned vegetables: Mixed vegetables, green beans, mushrooms
  • Canned and dried fruits: Applesauce (unsweetened), raisins, dates
  • Sauces: Pasta, pizza, tomato-look for varieties that contain no or very little added sugar
  • Soups: Canned soups, broth, and bouillon and dried soup mixes-look for varieties that are lower in sodium and are broth-based rather than cream-based
  • Meats: Canned tuna, salmon, minced clams
  • Peanut butter
  • Low-fat or no-fat evaporated milk
  • Vinegars: Cider, red and white wine, balsamic
  • Your favorite herbs and spices
  • Oils: Olive, canola, peanut, and non-fat cooking spray
  • Whole Grain breads

In the refrigerator

  • Various Vegetables and fruits, mix it up as per seasonal favorites
  • Low-fat milk or non-fat milk and yogurt (without added sugar)
  • Reduced-fat cheeses: Cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, Monterey Jack, cottage, Parmesan
  • Reduced-fat sour cream and cream cheese
  • Whole-wheat and corn tortillas
  • Eggs
  • Minced garlic
  • Sauces: Worcestershire, soy, teriyaki, and chili
  • Ketchup and mustard (spicy and Dijon)
  • Salad dressings with olive oil or reduced-fat

In the freezer

  • Frozen vegetables and fruits
  • Frozen chopped onions and chopped green, red, or yellow pepper
  • Breads: 100% whole-grain breads, dinner rolls, English muffins, bagels
  • Meats: Chicken breast, ground turkey breast
  • Fish: Red snapper, salmon, cod, flounder, sole


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