Eat Your Pantry!

Content provided by the Diabetes Research Institute’s Education and Nutrition Service
Maddison Saalinger, MS, RD, LDN

Items in the pantry oftentimes sit on the shelf to later be forgotten. Since many people continue to stay safe at home, it’s a great time to do a complete pantry clean-out! Get the kids involved and explore nutrition education, recipe development and menu planning.

  1. Identify all items in the pantry. Have the kids take everything out, sort out the items and check all expiration dates. Toss items that are past the recommended date.
  2. Analyze the items that you have. Have the kids regroup items based on food groups:

    • CARBOHYDRATES: vegetables and fruits, beans/legumes, grains dairy, desserts, etc.
    • FATS: oils, nutbutters, nuts/seeds, etc.
    • PROTEIN: tuna/sardines, etc.
    • Spices
  3. Put your chef’s cap on. Think of old and new recipes. Working together, think of some ways to pair up some of these items, then search for or create a recipe!

    Tip: The web can be a great resource for recipes. In your search engine, type in the main ingredients you have and that you would like to use: There might be something like a Sweet Corn Pasta or a Chickpea Curry with Rice. Pantry items: Whole wheat pasta, canned corn, canned garbanzo beans, olive oil, vegetable oil, vegetable/chicken stock, canned coconut milk, salt, pepper, spices.

    Now that you have an idea. Plan a menu before you go shopping. Select a few meals for the week. Have the kids write down a list of the missing items. You might notice that you need less items from the supermarket than you first thought!

Time to get cooking!

REMINDER: Home-made dishes can be a great way to keep track of carbohydrates and an opportunity to practice reading food labels. With the help of an online nutrient label generator you can calculate the exact measurement of the carbohydrate content per serving in each recipe created.

SOURCE: Maddison Saalinger, MS, RD, LDN, Dietitian at the Education & Nutrition Service, Diabetes Research Institute, 6/2020

Keep Up With Our Progress Toward A Cure & More