Ah, Spring. Time to enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air, the flowers blooming... and time to do the deep spring cleaning you’ve been putting off. If you’re like us, you’re eyeing the dust building on your pantry shelves and actually excited to tackle this yearly project.
Spring is an especially lovely time to clean and organize your fridge and pantry, and to take stock of how well your kitchen is serving you and your family. Be mindful that we need to be extra careful when cleaning near food, and keep reading for our favourite spring cleaning tips.
Clean Your Fridge & Pantry – Safely
We’re committed to clean, ethical snacks for children, because our founder Dr. Dionne Laslo-Baker is a Canadian expert on the impacts of environmental toxins on child health, especially those coming from the food chain. And just like we need to be careful about what we feed our children, we also need to be careful about how we clean our food prep areas, minimizing the impact of harsh chemicals as much as possible.
So if you’re clinging to your old, scented cleaning products, consider that exposure to these types of products is associated with nocturnal cough and mental health comorbidities in children. Another longitudinal study found that frequent exposure to household cleaning products is associated with an increased risk of asthma.
But trust us: good old fashioned soap, water and vinegar can really do just as good a job for your fridge and pantry!
To more safely clean your pantry and fridge, first remove all your items, and use soapy water, or water and vinegar, to clean your shelves. Give any jars and containers a wash down, too. Vinegar absorbs odours, and since it’s mildly acidic, it can also dissolve dirt and grime.
For tougher spots to clean, you can scrub using a lemon cut in half and baking soda.
These simple cleaning products have been used for centuries, because they work. By switching to them, you can still give your kitchen a great once-over, but in a much healthier and more environmentally friendly way.
Clean & Organize Your Food – Healthfully
Perhaps even more important than the dust on your shelves, a good spring cleaning can also help you clean out the junk. And we don’t just mean old and expired products, although that’s important, too. Be sure to toss anything that’s expired, or that you haven’t used in two years or so. When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to toss.
But also consider tossing out any over-processed junk food, especially if you find that your children (or you!) find it too tempting. You can’t eat what you don’t have, so getting treats loaded with sugar and unreadable ingredients out of your kitchen will also help get them out of your diet.
Once you’ve got everything cleaned out, it’s time to restock with healthier options. Consider getting mason jars for bulk items, and try to organize like with similar products (so, keep all your flours together, all your canned veggies on a different shelf, etc).
One easy way to stick to healthier eating is by keeping healthy snacks front and centre. When your kids open the fridge or freezer, you want them to see their healthiest choices right away. And in the pantry, you want the healthy snacks to be at their eye level.
Finally, cleaning your fridge and pantry is a good opportunity to take stock of what you need, and maybe what you waste, too. The better organized your shelves are, the better you’re able to reduce food waste, another lofty but do-able goal that’s good for both your family and the planet!