Health and wellness are at the top of everyone’s minds these days. And for good reason. You know that eating right and moving your body keeps you healthy and living longer. But did you know that your house can either promote or discourage a healthy lifestyle? There are many ways that a house can promote wellness including healthy indoor air and water quality, proper lighting, bringing nature inside, and designing spaces that encourage healthy living. If you are designing a new home or remodeling your existing home, the kitchen is the perfect place to start bringing wellness into your home. Here are eight health promoting design strategies for creating a wellness focused kitchen.
Aren’t planning a renovation, but want to make your kitchen healthier now? Check out these tips to achieve a healthy kitchen makeover without a remodel.
1. Multiple Work Zones
Creating multiple work zones allows multiple chefs in the kitchen. This encourages everyone in the house to be involved in the cooking and brings families together to appreciate meal time. Healthy eating includes lots of veggies, which means lot of cutting. Having a designated counter area for prepping veggies (preferably close to the compost bin) encourages healthy eating habits.
Another benefit to multiple work zones is that it makes batch prepping food much easier. Prepping your meals in one afternoon is a great strategy for healthy eating if you don’t have time during the week to create healthy meals from scratch. Having multiple zones to work in while preparing a week’s worth of food at once will make you more inclined to eat healthy meals.
2. Refrigerator with Large Produce Drawers
Optimize healthy eating by having a refrigerator that holds a lot of produce. I like the French door style refrigerators with the freezer on the bottom. This puts the produce drawers closer to eye level which means you can see what fruits and veggies you have on hand every time you open the fridge. Fresh veggies aren’t cheap and it’s a real bummer to have to toss a bunch of forgotten veggies that disappeared into the fridge abyss.
3. Open Shelving
Having open shelving above your counters makes the kitchen feel more spacious. A more spacious kitchen is inviting and will encourage people to want to be in it. If you enjoy the space you are in, you will be more likely to stick around to make some healthy meals.
4. Plants and Herbs in Kitchen
Another benefit to open shelving is to create a place for fresh herbs and house plants. House plants boost your mood and help clean the air. And having fresh herbs on hand that you grew yourself makes cooking even more fun.
5. Hands-Free Faucet
This is a personal favorite. A hands-free faucet keeps spreading germs in the kitchen to a minimum. I use the Moen Essie Hands-Free Kitchen Faucet. It has a sensor on the side that you wave to turn on and off. No more sticky, peanut buttery smudge marks on our kitchen faucet!
6. Range hood
A range hood not only helps with cooking smells, but it also helps control moisture when boiling water. Kitchens can be a great place for mold to grow when there is a lot of moisture that gets trapped in the walls. A range hood will help dissipate the moisture. If you cook with a gas stove, you want to have your hood running before you turn on your burners. The combustion that occurs when a burner first lights releases carbon monoxide which is bad for human health. Make sure your range hood is large enough to catch the fumes and moisture from the front and back burners.
Create a designated area for a small compost bin. We keep ours under our kitchen sink. It is easy to reach when chopping produce and easy to grab when it needs to be emptied into the outdoor compost pile. Composting veggie and other non-animal food scraps cuts down on landfill waste and creates healthy soil for gardening.
8. Water Filter
Whether you have city water or well water, you might need to filter your water to remove harmful pollutants. The easiest way to get healthy drinking water is to have a separate faucet at your sink that makes it easy for someone to fill up their water glass while someone else is using the main faucet. We know that drinking a lot of water is good for our bodies, so having a designated drinking water faucet will eliminate any excuses for not drinking enough water during the day.