The right kitchen tools can help you and your family eat healthier and keep your weight in check. Make these accoutrements part of your recipe for success.
Clear glass bowls, like this three-piece set by Luigi Bormioli, are a big help with gauging portion sizes and the calories you’re consuming. Whether you’re pouring yourself some morning cereal or serving up ice cream, glass bowls allow you to gauge portion size from the outside of the bowl.
“All you have to do is measure one-half cup of ice cream or one cup of cereal once to see where the portion size comes to on the side,” says Susan Levy, a Seattle nutritionist and the author of the Well-Fed Heart, a series of publications on heart-healthy living and recipes.
You can also do the reverse to see how much you’ve normally been eating. To do this, pour your regular amount of breakfast cereal into the bowl. Then, pour it into a measuring cup. This will tell you how many cups of cereal you eat each day. Measuring is work in the beginning but after a time or two, you’ll have it down. You can eyeball portions in your bowl after that.
A food scale such as this one by OXO Good Grips, can be a big help with measuring food that doesn’t fit into a glass bowl. For example, “a food scale can give you a really good idea of what a 2-ounce portion of dried pasta looks like, or a 3-ounce piece of chicken or fish,” says Levy. For more on how to control portion sizes, visit choosemyplate.gov.
Ice cube trays come in handy for freezing leftover chicken broth. “Use a cube of chicken broth instead of oil when sautéing,” Levy says. You can also use ice cube trays for freezing homemade baby food and basil, too — before it goes bad. Simply put a bunch of chopped fresh basil and dribble of olive oil in each cube slot and freeze. Add a cube to recipes that call for basil, such as soup and pasta sauce.
Fill tall water glasses like these Riedel 17-ounce Coca-Cola glasses with water several times a day and you’ll easily meet the recommendation to consume half your weight in ounces in water daily, which can help you stay well-hydrated. “For water, the bigger the glass, the better,” Levy says.
Conversely, using smaller wine glasses like these 7.5-ounce Kate Spade New York Downing Cuts Ave Crystal can help you enjoy a glass of wine without overdoing. Drinking in moderation is defined as one 5-ounce glass of wine per day for women and two 5-ounce glasses per day for men. “It’s easy to serve yourself twice that amount if you’re pouring wine into a large wine glass,” Levy says.
An immersion blender like this Calphalon 2-in-1 Immersion Hand Blender is an easy way to thicken soups without adding cream. Simply blend several cups of soup with an immersion blender and add it back to the rest of the batch — and voila — you’ve got a silky soup you can feel good about.