Pantry Makeover

Pantry Makeover
By: Holly Brantley

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO --Cereals with lots of sugar, chips, sodas, and cookies: Sound like what's in your cabinets? If it does, your pantry could use a makeover! You don't have to cut out all the junk food. But, you can limit it and get hooked on healthy alternatives. We visited the home of a Cape Girardeau family who's doing just that. And, we asked them: What's in your pantry?
In some ways Kelly Hartmann is the typical American mom. "I've got two kids, married, I teach aerobics at Health Point Fitness, and I'm a self-employed massage therapist," said Kelly. But, when you look inside her pantry, maybe she's not so typical. "I try to do away with all white flour and white sugar. You can't cut out all the sugar," says Kelly. "But, you can try to limit it." She admits the family is not perfect. "There are things in here my husband has bought," said Kelly.
But on a scale of one to ten, Kelly gives the family an eight.
That's where nutrition expert, Raina Childers, comes in to put the Hartmann house to the test.
"As we look at Kelly's pantry, I could pull out a multitude of ingredients and throw together a great dinner that would not take very long," said Raina. It was tough but she did find room for improvement.
"Here's something that's not ideal, cheese sauce!" said Raina. "One thing to remember is it's all about proportions and finding a moderate balance." Raina also found a rice cereal, "It's not bad but it's low in fiber. And, there's not a lot of nutrient density. She could certainly pick something with more whole grains."
"One thing to remember is if it comes with a season packet only use half," said Raina. "You've reduced the sodium and a lot of what's in those don't compromise the taste." Raina found candy in the refrigerator: "When you're going to have a treat like this, don't eat out of the box."
So how does Kelly rate? Raina says she's an eight or even an eight and a half. "She did a great job," said Raina. But Kelly's results aren't typical. "Kelly's house is a very unusual home for the culture we live in," said Raina.
Kelly says she's learned to read ingredient information. She also buys more natural and organic foods. "I'd rather my kids be health conscious, instead of weight conscious," said Kelly
Raina says to remember that all foods can fit. Just be sure to balance meals out with healthy choices, and get your calories from nutrient dense foods like natural peanut butter, salsa, whole grains, and lean protein.
And there's good news about dark chocolate. It has a place in your pantry! Four ounces a day are actually recommended, and the darker the better. For wine drinkers, a glass a day is the recommendation. But, that doesn't mean you can save up all of your wine allowance for the weekend.