If you want to eat well, you have to step into the kitchen. Research confirms that cooking at home helps people make healthier choices and save money. But it can also be a whole lot quicker and easier if you have the right tools for the job. So arm yourself for success. That means no more digging through a drawer full of gizmos and gadgets. Pare it down to the essentials, so you can blend a smoothie, chop up a salad, or whip up a healthy dinner in record time—and even have fun doing it.
Ready to get cooking? Here are the top tools you need for healthy eating success.
1. A Kitchen Scale for Portion Control
They’re not just for bakers. A kitchen scale is essential to nail portion sizes. And seriously, you want to understand portion sizes. Until you know exactly how much you’re putting on your plate, all those calorie counts are guess-timates.
2. Measuring Cups & Spoons for, Well, the Same Reason
You’re going to need measuring cups and spoons for most healthy recipes, anyway. But you’ll also want to pull them out when you’re serving up cereal, rice, pasta, or anything else that should be kept to a cup or could easily take over your entire plate.
3. A High-Speed Blender for Flawless Smoothies
If you’re going to treat yourself to one luxury kitchen appliance, a high-speed blender is an investment in your health. The best have powerful motors and sharp blades, blitzing frozen fruit, thick kale leaves, even a small handful of almonds. Your smoothies will never be the same. (Shopping tip: You can save hundreds of dollars by looking for a reconditioned model and catching it on sale.)
4. A Multi-Cooker for Healthy Meal Prep
A couple of years ago, your friends would have told you to get a slow cooker. But these days, it’s all about the multi-cooker, a souped up pressure cooker that can steam eggs, simmer beans, “roast” a chicken, “bake” sweet potatoes, fluff up brown rice, and more. Get ready to crush your weekly meal prep in a fraction of the time.
5. Cast-Iron Grill Pan for Indoor Grilling
What, you don’t live at the beach? Nor do you want to spend a weeknight fanning an open flame? A grill pan brings healthy grilling indoors, so you can sear off lean protein and colorful veggies, even when it’s snowing sideways. Cast-iron is a workhorse, so you don’t have to spend much to get a sturdy pan, and you’ll use it for years to come.
6. Silicon Steamer Case for Easy-Peasy Veggies
There are so many compelling reasons to put plants at the center of your plate, but all too often, veggies come as an afterthought. Sound familiar? Do not despair. That’s what microwaves are for. A silicon steamer case helps veggies cook up quickly and evenly in just a couple of minutes.
7. A Chef’s Knife for Quick Chopping
Okay, this isn’t just a healthy cooking thing—every cook needs one really great knife. It makes everything faster and easier, from chopping an onion to carving a chicken. Don’t waste your money on a block of flimsy knives. Just get one quality blade—and keep it sharp.
8. A Spiralizer for Oodles of Veggie Noodles
Spiralizing is one of those healthy eating trends that almost sounds silly. But if twirling zucchini or sweet potato into ribbons and curls is going to help you enjoy more colorful veggies and reduce refined carbs, you know what? Get spinning.
9. Mason Jars for Overnight Oats
They’re all over Pinterest, but old-fashioned mason jars were cool before they were cool. They screw tightly shut, so no risk of leaks, and they’re sturdy enough to toss in a gym bag. Line them up on the counter to make overnight oats for the week, or take soups and smoothies to go.
10. Reusable Containers for Packed Lunches
If you want to step it up with healthy meal prep, eventually, you’re going to have to tackle the takeout-container drawer of shame. It doesn’t matter if you’re into plastic or glass, square or round, laptop lunches or bento boxes. The point is to edit it down to a set of reuseable containers you absolutely love, so you’ll want to pull them out and put them in rotation.
11. Sparkling Water Machine for Sweeter Sips
So maybe a spritzer doesn’t sound like a necessity. But the fact is that nearly half of all added sugar comes from drinks. So take your soda budget for this year, and put it toward your health. Sip on sparkling water with a big squeeze of lemon, or try these fresh fruit infusions.
12. Cookbooks for Healthy Eating Inspiration
Okay, so you’ve got all the implements you need. The only remaining ingredient is inspiration. Beautiful recipes can make whole foods sound absolutely delicious, from superfood salmon to nutrient-rich vegetables. So buy a few favorite cookbooks, and prop them up on the counter. And don’t forget to check out the healthy recipes on the Fitbit blog.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.