Create a HappyHealthy Kitchen

You are here

HappyHealthy Kitchen

The easiest way to enjoy a HappyHealthy lifestyle is to stock your kitchen the HappyHealthy way.

In the Freezer

Fruits and vegetables

  • Buy frozen
    • Choose vegetables without sauce or seasoning
    • Choose fruits without added sugar or syrup
  • Buy fresh and freeze

Meat, poultry, and seafood

  • Buy frozen
    • Choose lean meat
    • Avoid sauces or seasoning
  • Freeze from fresh
    • When buying in bulk
    • When you hunt or fish

Leftover dishes

  • Cook once, eat twice or more
  • Store in plastic bags with as much air removed as possible
  • Be sure to label and date

In the Refrigerator

Fruits and vegetables

  • Buy in season for best quality and to save money
  • Use our guide to see what’s in season in Mississippi
  • Store separately to keep fresh longer
  • Store these fruits in the refrigerator
    • Strawberries
    • Apples
    • Lemons
    • Oranges
    • Blueberries
  • Store these vegetables in the refrigerator
    • Cucumbers
    • Lettuce
    • Broccoli
    • Squash
    • Carrots
  • Always look for 100% fruit or vegetable juice for drinking

Meat, poultry, seafood and eggs

  • Choose lean meats and poultry
  • Remove skin and fat when possible
  • Store raw meat separately from fruits, vegetables, and prepared foods
  • Place on trays or in containers to keep juices from dripping onto other foods
  • Keep eggs on the bottom shelf in case one is cracked
  • Keep eggs toward the back of the refrigerator where the temperature is colder

Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, butter)

  • Choose low-fat
  • Choose low-sugar
  • Store milk on bottom shelf at the back where refrigerator is coldest

Prepared and cooked foods

  • Prepare salads, dips, and snacks and keep in plastic bags or containers with lids
  • Store leftovers in plastic bags or containers with lids
  • Label and date prepared and cooked dishes and leftovers
  • Keep prepared and cooked foods on top shelves away from raw meat and eggs


  • Once condiments (mustards, ketchup, mayonnaise, relishes, and pickles) have been opened, keep in the refrigerator door

In the Pantry

Fruits and vegetables

  • Buy canned
    • Choose fruits packed in water or 100% juice (not syrup)
    • Choose vegetables that say “Low Sodium,” “No Salt Added,” or “Sodium Free” on the label
    • Avoid vegetables that are already seasoned
    • Diced tomatoes and beans are good to have on hand and can be used in many recipes
  • Buy fresh
    • Keep garlic, onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes in pantry away from light, but where air can get to them

Meat, poultry, and seafood

  • Buy canned or sealed in packets
  • Choose meats packed in water instead of oil
  • Choose lean meats and remove skin
  • Avoid high sodium options

Grains (rice, pasta, breads, cereals, crackers)

  • Popcorn, oats, and oatmeal are whole grain options
  • Look at the ingredients on the food label and make sure the first ingredient includes one of the following:
    • Whole grain
    • Whole wheat
    • Brown rice, oats, oatmeal, or whole (other grain)
  • Avoid high sugar cereals


  • Peanuts and pecans are easy to use in family menus
  • Look for nuts and seeds at farmer's markets
  • When buying peanut butter, avoid added salt or sugar

Dried herbs and spices

  • Dried herbs and spices can add many health benefits and flavors
  • Start with these and store in your pantry:
    • Pepper
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
    • Italian seasoning
    • Dried Oregano
    • Chili Powder
    • Salt
  • Check out our All-Purpose Seasoning recipe


  • Use vegetable oils for cooking
  • Oil is also good for making salad dressings
  • Vegetable oil spray is also a good option to have on hand for convenience

Flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking soda, cornstarch

  • These ingredients are essential when making the occasional baked goods
  • Use flour or cornstarch to thicken soups or sauces
  • Make your own bread or cornbread

On the Counter

Fruits and vegetables

  • Store these fruit and vegetables on the counter until they are ripe, then store in the refrigerator
    • Eggplant
    • Acorn squash
    • Butternut squash
    • Tomatoes
    • Apples
    • Oranges
    • Bananas
  • Keep a bowl of fruit on the counter for a quick snack




This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.