Stocking-Up on Nutrition Month Essentials!

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Mar 1, 2016 is proud to announce our participation in Nutrition Month by tracking one family’s mission to eat healthier meals at home. We will update on their journey every week along with expert feedback on the concrete steps they are taking towards achieving their goal.

When I was first approached to work with Corey and her husband Ross on their 100 Meal Journey as part of Nutrition month this year, I knew the first place we needed to meet was the Etherington house. Ross and Corey, both work full time, Edie, their toddler is in daycare, and in April they will welcome baby number two. Life is already busy for the Etherington’s and it is about to become even more hectic! My best recommendation for busy individuals and families is to create proper meal plans.

When looking to cook more, it is important to make sure you are well prepared with a well-stocked kitchen; this goes hand in hand with creating meal plans. Cooking something new can be quite the task when your pantry and fridge aren’t stocked properly! This is something I notice very regularly when I go into my clients’ personal kitchens to help them with creating meal plans. It is much easier to cook a meal when all you have to do is go into your cupboard or fridge for 75% of the ingredients.

Etherington-family fridge stocked with essentials.

Corey and Ross happen to have a pretty well stocked kitchen, so when I went looking through their fridge, freezer and pantry, they had the majority of things on my Kitchen Essentials list. Not only does this list include food items, but kitchen tools are equally as important. I myself recently purchased all new knives (translation: 3 knives, that’s all you need!) and chopping my ingredients has become way less of a chore. Anything to make a task that seems daunting easier is completely worth it.

See below for a breakdown of all the kitchen essentials you need to put yourself on the pathway to healthy eating!

Kitchen Tool Essentials

  • 1 Sauté pan with a lid
  • 1 Dutch oven
  • 1-2 Sheet pans (aka cookie sheets)
  • 1 9 x 13’ baking pan
  • 3 Knives
    • 1 Multipurpose “Chef’s” knife chose an 8” knife “the work horse” or most versatile knife in the kitchen
    • Paring knife chose a 4” knife for my kitchen
    • Serrated or Bread Knife
  • 3 Mixing bowls (Large, Medium, Small)
  • 1 Colander
  • 1-2 cutting boards
  • 1 set of measuring cups
  • 1 set of measuring spoons
  • 1 set of tongs
  • 1 Wood spoon
  • 1 Whisk
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Can opener
  • 1 Meat thermometer
  • Kitchen towels
  • 1 Potholders/Kitchen gloves
  • 1 Loaf pan
  • 1 Casserole Dish
  • 1 Box grater
  • 1 medium pot with lid
  • 1 muffin tin
  • 1 soup ladle
  • 1 Vacuum Sealer > This makes defrosting frozen meat and fish a 5-10 minute task prevents freezer burn.


In the Pantry

  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Low sodium chicken stock
  • Oils
    • Neutral oil such as Grapeseed oil or Sunflower oil
    • Sesame oil
    • Extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings (not for cooking)
    • virgin olive oil (for cooking)
  • Vinegar
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
    • Rice wine vinegar (if you enjoy a lot of Asian style recipes
  • Low sodium soy sauce or Tamari
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Brown Sugar

Spices & Condiments

  • Salt (Sea salt, non iodized salt)
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Bay leaves
  • Onion powder
  • Ground ginger
  • Ketchup Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Hot sauce (Sriracha)

In the Freezer

  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen fruit (especially in the winter months)
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish & shrimp

Now that the Etherington kitchen is ready I think it’s time to do some meal planning… stay tuned for that post next!

Amanda Lapidus is an experienced, innovative and supportive dietitian, mother and wife, living and working in Toronto.   She is one of the few dietitians who offers personalized and family focused care in the comforts of your own home.  Amanda completed her Honours Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition at The University of Western Ontario and her postgraduate internship in clinical nutrition at Mount Sinai Hospital.   She is a member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario, Dietitians of Canada and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Amanda draws from a diverse career in the field of nutrition with a wide range of physical and mental health knowledge and a special interest in integrative and functional medicine. Amanda works using real foods and believes in making nutrition in your home simple, satisfying and sustainable. For further information or to book a session, contact Amanda at:, 416-805-2584


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