Pantry staples for healthy living

If you own or rent an apartment or home, you most likely have a pantry, (or at least, an area that acts as your pantry). As the home of non-refrigerated foods, the pantry is a high-traffic area where you and your family members or roommates search for ingredients and snacks to prepare a meal and fill your bellies.

It is important to keep that pantry filled in order to satisfy the dietary needs of everyone who lives there and any guests who are visiting. But buying the right stuff is not the simplest of tasks. You have to have a diversity of items that can serve all of the different preferences and recipes in the home. 

If you want to lead a healthier lifestyle, then what you put into that pantry matters. Since it is accessible to pretty much everyone, you need to have healthy options available for snacks and meals to encourage better habits. So what are some of the staples that belong in your pantry that can contribute to healthier living?

Non-sugary cereals

Cereal itself is a staple of breakfasts everywhere. It is quick, convenient, and the right kind can be a delicious way to start the day. The problem often lies in the choice of cereal. Many young families will buy sugary cereals to satisfy the sweet tooth of their children, (not that adults don’t do this as well). The solution is to find healthy cereals that you can add more natural sweeteners to. Whole-grain based cereals are perfect options, and you can add small fruits like berries to naturally sweeten the flavor. Or, you can mix in some organic honey, the perfect and natural substitute for table sugar. Investing in healthier cereals with better methods of sweetening is the first step to a better breakfast.


The rice substitute that is growing in popularity, quinoa is a great option to keep your pantry stocked. It is rich in iron, can be mixed with many dishes in the same ways that rice can, and contains fiber to help combat cholesterol levels. It is also a source of protein, so it is a food that really packs a punch in terms of the nutrients it provides. If you are looking for a pantry staple that is healthy, delicious, and versatile, you can’t do much better than quinoa.


Supplements are a great way to help the amount of nutrients that you are taking in. Although they are not meant to be a substitute for a healthy and balanced diet, they can be a great way to support positive eating habits. For families, there are great options like multivitamins for teens that can help maintain nutrient levels in the body. Many supplements come in the form of capsules that you can take, making them an excellent addition to any pantry. Making them a staple can ensure that you and your family are maintaining health-friendly habits. 

Beans and legumes

This is another category of foods that pack a powerful punch with the number of nutrients they provide. They are rich in protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and more. Plus, they are less fattening than other sources of protein. Filling your pantry with dried beans and legumes is both inexpensive and healthy. They are a versatile ingredient that can be added to many soups, salads, and other dishes to the delight of all. Although they may mean a little more preparation work than their canned equivalents, the health benefits will more than make up for it. Consider adding kidney beans, lima beans, lentils, and peas to your pantry for healthier options.

Nuts and seeds

Snacks are a huge contributor to unhealthy dietary habits. It is easy to head to the pantry to grab something like chips or popcorn to hold you over between meals. Filling your pantry with healthier snacks like nuts and seeds will give people an option for dealing with those hunger pangs that aren’t as harmful to their bodies. They can fill you up even though they might seem less substantial than junk foods, so they can help with weight maintenance on top of the fiber that they provide.

Make a difference with your pantry

As the main hub of food choices outside of the refrigerator, the contents of the pantry will be one of the largest indicators of you and your family’s level of investment in health. Filling it with junk food that is chock-full of sugars and fats will do no favors for anyone’s well being. It is essential to add some of these healthy options to your pantry on a regular basis to encourage healthy eating habits. Write these down on your next grocery list to maintain your healthy lifestyle.

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