A well-stocked pantry is key to a healthy diet. But it’s hard to know just where to begin. The key is to start transitioning from processed, packaged foods to whole, real foods. With just a few simple steps, you’ll be organized and stocked for healthy meal success.

Step 1: Empty your pantry. Often times we don’t even know what’s in those dark corners. Give it a good “spring cleaning” and get rid of expired items and processed “junk” foods, such as sugar cereals, chips, cookies and canned soups. How to tell if something is overly processed? A good rule of thumb is to stick to foods with 5 ingredients or less. Donate items you won’t use or that are just too tempting.

Step 2: Add healthy snack options. If you love chips, try air-popped popcorn or lentil chips. If you crave salt, stock up on nuts and seeds. For that sweet tooth, try dried fruit or dark chocolate. Try making your own trail mix with nuts and dried fruit for a convenient, healthy mix of sweet and salty.

Step 3: Replace white with brown. Swap out white flour with whole wheat flour, and stock up on whole grain rice and pasta. Replace processed crackers with whole-grain versions. Add grains and legumes such as farro, lentils and quinoa.

Step 4: Use healthy oils. Toss the vegetable oil and use olive instead. It is a great source of heart healthy Omega-3s and can be heated or used in dressings and dips.

Step 5: What you see is what you get. Consider glass or clear airtight containers to hold your dry goods. This keeps healthy foods in sight and top of mind.

These are just a few ideas to get you started! If you’re interested in more nutrition tips, you can schedule an appointment with one of our STR!VE providers or our STR!VE nutritionist.

Watch the FOX17 Medical Moment segment “Foods to put in the pantry.”