Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

By March 10, 2021Nutrition
Vegetables used for nutrition education

How many times have you come home from a long day of work and reached for the first thing available to eat? We have all been there before, but the problem is that these foods we are reaching for are probably not the healthiest. They are usually packaged, processed foods like chips, cookies, or candy. Why are these the foods we grab? The answer is surprisingly simple…they require the least amount of effort! After work you are tired, hungry, and just want something convenient. Those packaged foods require no cooking, preparation, and give our taste buds quick satisfaction.

Interestingly, we can alter our food environment to make the healthy choices just as appealing! Think of your home food environment like the difficulty setting in a game. If all the healthy choices are tucked away in the back of the refrigerator, while the unhealthy snack foods are front and center in the pantry, the difficulty level is extremely high for you to consistently make the healthy choice. But if you keep healthy foods like fruit, nuts, or yogurt in places that are easy to see and reach, you will have a much easier time choosing these options. Our goal should be to construct our home food environment in a way that makes the healthy choice the easy choice. Over time, you will find that you automatically start reaching for the sliced fruit or almonds instead of the chips!

Here are some ways to improve your home food environment:

  • Keep a colorful fruit bowl on the kitchen table or counter that is easy to see.
  • Organize the healthy snacks (nuts, granola bars, dried fruit) in your pantry so that they are at eye level and easy to reach.
  • Cut up vegetables (broccoli, bell pepper, celery, etc.) and keep them in sandwich bags for easy use or to be eaten as a snack!
  • Store leftovers in pre-portioned containers so you just have to re-heat and enjoy!
  • Organize your refrigerator to feature the healthy foods near the front.

Written by: Jake Draviczki, Dietetic Intern from Southern Illinois University Carbondale


Recipe: Lemon Garlic Broccoli


  • 1 head of broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in medium to large saucepan on medium heat
  2. Add crushed garlic and broccoli florets
  3. Cook and stir for 5-6 minutes until broccoli is bright green and firm
  4. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper

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