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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Organizing The Fridge for Healthy 'Fast Food' At Home

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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,


Marina PĂ©rez said...

Great, Angie! I have no words to describe your idea and your fridge. I love healthy food and as you say, it's dificult to maintain a control with different shedules. I'm afraid I'm not so tidy but I do what I can. Do you make smoothies with yougurt and melon? for example. This summer I also had an idea. I made gazpacho ( a cold mixure of tomatoe, onion, pepper, olive oil, salt and vinager) and I filled small bottles to take to the beach. all the vegetables are crude so it's a very healthy drink for summer

Hugs from Jerez in the South of Spain

Spitfire said...

Great idea Angie. Your ideas are so simple, but the way you present it motivates me to say, hey, I need to do this. I CAN do this.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Vanessa said...

What a great ideas! Would you like to come and organize my fridge now?

Tanya Payzant said...

Angie, you have truly inspired me. I am going away Sunday for a week, and am going to do this for those staying at home!! Thank you! :)

SweetLadySutton said...

The best fridge organization I've seen...great job! I can't wait to freeze my bananas now :)

Diane Schnablegger said...

Thanks inspired me once again:) A tip that I just started with the frozen bananas is peeling them before freezing and then putting them in an airtight container or zip lock freezer bag. They stay nice and then I avoid the slimy peel when thawing for baking. Also, I love throwing the frozen bananas in my smoothies now.

Sarah [] said...

I love that you've labeled your fridge! What great tips for healthy fast food too!

justasiam said...

Just a gentle reminder...the correct spelling of potato salad is not potatoe. There is no e at the end of potato.

carrie d said...

when you put noodles in a tupperware in the fridge, do you put anything in with it? to keep them from clumping or drying out? thanks!!

Christy said...

Love this idea. I do something similar in that I pre-package our leftovers in to-go containers, which makes grabbing a meal quick. I'm visiting from the Our Sunday Best link party.

Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life

Amila Wickramarachchi said...

great tips,I usually cook extra pasta and freeze them in small batches,when I need to prepare a dish,I only have to prepare the sauce.From this post I got some more meal ideas which can make ahead.thanks

Marilyn Clark said...

OMG Angie, you have totally inspired me to remove everything from my refrigerator and organize everything. YOUR refrigerator is AWESOME! I'd like to invite you to two things on m blog. First, I currently have a great spice giveaway going on that your might be interested in. Secondly, tomorrow I have a weekly link party, The Project Stash, that I co-host with 3 other bloggers that I'd love for you to link up this great post.

Have a fabulous day!


Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles said...

This is such a great plan, thanks for some inspiring new snack ideas!

robin lorraine williamson said...

This is great I like it. Will have to do some of these things in my fridge so the teens wont drive me crazy. thanks for posting

Cheryl @ That's What Che Said said...

Thanks so much for linking up to Monday Funday! I featured YOU today! Please stop over and grab a button! xo Cheryl

Maria said...

I love how amazingly organized your fridge is! I wish mine was like that too, it needs some work!!! Thanks for the inspiration ;)

2Momma2 said...

This is my dream fridge!! I'm seriously drooling over your fantastic organization ideas and yummy looking food. We only have space for a tiny fridge and the size was actually hard to find, so I am definitely jealous.

I love your "fast food" section. Definitely pinning this for future reference because that is an excellent idea!

If you have time, I'd love for you to link this up at Tips and Tricks Tuesday - it's a place for people to share and ask for advice related to healthy living or weight loss. This would be so helpful to us all!



Christine said...

Ok... so I NEED THAT FRIDGE and I NEED YOU to come and organize it for me! WOW!

Brooke said...

Oh, my goodness! This is honestly what I dream of. The fridge can be such a yucky, scary place. Yours is beautiful (never thought I'd say that about a fridge!:)). Thanks so much for sharing, and for the wonderful inspiration. Have a great day!

Melanie said...

Jumped over here from IHeart Organizing. This is a great post! It's easy and motivational, thanks so much. said...

Featuring today over on my blog! Thanks for linking up to {wow me} wednesday! :)

Ginger @

CJG said...

As a single lady, my biggest downfall is stopping to pick up some takeout on the way home so I don't have to cook after a long day at work. I've tried the pre-packaged frozen dinner route, but it gets old pretty quickly, so I'm glad I ran across your post! And, some mornings, I just don't want to have cereal, so it was nice to see some breakfast ideas in your fridge, too. I get a little sick of yogurt for lunch, so some of your dinner ideas can become lunch for me. Thanks for such a fun to look at post- refrigerator "eye candy!"

Crista said...

I LOVE the "fast food" idea! I am going back to work after 4 years at home and I'm thinking this will come in very handy! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

hussain ladak said...
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Brad maddox said...
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Brad maddox said...
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Maman On fait quoi said...

Wow, thank you so much !! I do pre-cook meals as well, but even though I try to keep them all in the same part, sometimes, they just don't stack well. I'll start using same brand square containers as well ! And great idea to label. My oldest is tween and it will be much easier when she has to eat before us for her tennis training !

Brad maddox said...
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Kris said...

Curious as to how often you go grocery shopping?

Mercy Robe said...

Oh but there is! Every time I write it an e ends up on the end ;)

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Pippi21 said...

I'm impressed with your fantastic organization; and I need to copy some of your ideas. What type of tape are you using on those containers? Can it be removed easily when the container is empty without a lot of work or residue?

I think we can all learn something from your organization. Have you always been this organized?

Natalie said...

I just found you through pinterest! Wow this is an amazing idea. I'm a college student and I never thought about making a "fast food" shelf! This is going to keep me from going through the drive thru now! Thank You!

Pippi21 said...

I know I posted a message last week but since I suscribeded to your blog, I am getting follow-up comments to my email which is fine. I find that you can pick up good tips sometimes by reading what others write. Trying to copy some of your ideas is still on my mind. I have a few of the Fridge binz that I storage my DH's meds into. I want to get some more for my Fridge and even my cabinet. Does that masking tape come off easy without any residue to container> I think the secret of the organization is that you are keeping the same type of containers and they are easy to locate in the fridge, instead of some of many colors and sizes. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

Terri-Ann Lewis said...

I LOVE this idea and the way your fridge is organised is amazing, can't wait to sort mine. Thank you for this post

Pippi21 said...

Would freezer tape work as well as masking tape? I've never seen white masking tape, only the cream color one. Guess I need to check at Home Depot the next time I'm there for the white variety.

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