Designing Kitchens that Promote Healthy Eating

You’re probably aware that if you want a drop-dead gorgeous kitchen that elicits an awed gasp from your guests and brings a smile to your face every time you walk in, an experienced kitchen designer is your best bet to achieve your goals. Did you know that kitchen design professionals can help you meet your functional goals too?

Today’s homeowners are often concerned with healthy eating habits for their families but don’t necessarily think to mention that goal to their designer. It’s a topic I like to bring up with clients because there are many design tools that can help promote healthy eating. Here are a few:

Kitchen Layout
Studies have shown that room design, furniture and appliance placement, and lighting provide an unconscious influence on both food intake and food selection. Keeping healthy options close at hand and tempting choices hidden can make a surprising difference. An experienced designer can help you make choices that are beautiful while guiding your family to a healthier lifestyle.

Convenient Storage
Experts in healthy eating advise keeping your kitchen well organized with the healthy options close at hand. If you have to dig through a cluttered cabinet to find your juicer or your steamer, you are less likely to utilize it. Cabinetry is now as functional as it is beautiful. Cabinet and drawer interiors can be custom designed to make previously difficult to reach areas easily accessible. Options like built-in narrow pull-out pantry units can stop healthy items being shoved to the back of a deep cabinet.

CabinetOrganizing
Storage solutions from Rev-A-Shelf (left and center) and Dura Supreme (right)

Specialty Appliances
Refrigeration units are available with smart temperature controls to keep produce fresh longer. You can select glass door modules that will draw your family’s attention to healthy options while modules with custom cabinetry panels store cold items you prefer your family enjoy sparingly. Undercounter refrigeration units are widely available in both drawers and doors. You can design a snack center away from your main work area stocked with healthy drinks and snacks with easy access for your kids. You can also integrate a steamer module or a indoor grill beside your range for healthier cooking options.

SubZeroWolfAppliancesRefrigerator drawer and built-in steamer by Sub-Zero and Wolf

Size and Color Cues
Here’s a tip you can integrate on your own. In one study, students offered food on red plates ate less while foods offered on plates in more welcoming, safer feeling colors like white, blue, and green ate more. Storing and serving healthy options on the safe, calming colors will encourage your family to eat more of those options. Less healthy options meant for rare treats can be kept in red containers as a subtle cue to help dissuade your family from grabbing that snack on the run. In addition, the average plate size has increased alarmingly over the years. Select dinnerware sets that include the smaller 9 inch plate, or select plates with wide ridged edges to help influence your family to serve up smaller portions at mealtime.

color and size options
Fiesta Mix dinnerware, Wickford dinnerware, and Pyrex storage set from Macy’s.com; Vintage Red Cookie Canister from bedbathandbeyond.com

Check out more great design tools and ideas for encouraging healthy eating habits on our pinterest board.

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