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Ten Tips to Creating a 21st Century Kitchen
By Kathleen Alessandro

What’s a 21st century kitchen you ask? Well as we are keenly aware, we are in the midst of a total re-think of how we eat, how we work, how we maintain healthy families and how we balance it all. Studies have shown that one of the most important acts for a positive family life is having dinner together. So how can we take the kitchen back from being the dumping ground for paperwork, backpacks and sport equipment and remake it as a comfortable center of nutrition, conversation and the heartbeat of the home?
Start with these ten steps:

  1. Make the kitchen a clutter free zone – it is only a place for preparing, storing and enjoying nutritious food and a “meeting place” for family members.
  2. Create a list of the most nutritious foods that you and those in your household enjoy eating; post it in a place where people can add to it so that this growing list helps develop your weekly shopping list.
  3. Take fifteen minutes and align the weekly family schedule with the menu plan (work/school lunches or how many nights a week everyone is together for dinner).
  4. Don’t get pulled in by infomercials - Give up on gadgets. Buy tools that last and multi-task (check out busycooks.about.com).
  5. Donate old worn pieces of equipment hiding in the back of your cabinets.
  6. Set aside daily kitchen de-clutter time and tasks for everyone in the family.
  7. Look up – hang pots and pans from overhead pot hangers
  8. Make a “health snack zone.” Put these foods where everyone can get to them easily.
  9. Create a lunch-creation station. Include wraps, sandwich bags, lunch packs, napkins, plastic utensils etc.
  10. Invest in a vacuum sealing machine. Food can be portioned, frozen or kept in dry storage. If you buy bulk this is a “must-have”!

Take a weekend and create your 21st century kitchen – whether you live on your own, with someone else or have a family – your kitchen will be more efficient, more comfortable and all around easier for creativity and maintaining healthy meals, comfortable conversations and family memories.

Kathleen Alessandro is President of Dearborn-based ENERGIZED SOLUTIONS
- Doing more with less in the 21st century www.energized-solutions.com. She is also part of the panel of experts at the Smart Women’s Café, an online community.

Kathleen is a co-author of Focus, Organization, Productivity; Exploring Productivity; and Insights on Productivity Dawson Publishing.

Of Special Interest:   HFHS Menopause Support Blog   HFHS Women's Health
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