I have kept a stockpile of canned goods all my life.

I have tried keeping them alphabetically…

I have labelled the edges of the shelves with ‘peas, beans, spaghetti, pineapple,’ etc. […]

Then came the dawn…cook by color, so why not arrange shelves like that?

We know that when we have meat and potatoes we need something orange, green, or red. […]

Arrange all food shelves which hold your canned goods by color!


 Heloise’s Kitchen Hints




It is true that the same plating rules that applied back in the 50s and 60s still apply today. You should have variety. You should have a protein, a starch, and a fruit and veggie, not to mention a dairy.


Now I will be the first to admit, I am not a huge fan of the new MY PLATE. I am a sucker for the good old food pyramid, but visually, it gets my point across.  You should also have a visual variety. Different color fruits and veggies provide different types of nutrition, not to mention help your kiddos expand their palettes.


Heloise continues to suggest marking your shelves with a marker to help with organization. Green for peas, green beans, pickles… Orange for canned yams, carrots, pumpkin, etc.


I suggest taking it one step further. Separate and mark for color and sustenance. Make one set your veggie shelves. Color code from there. Repeat with your fruits, starches, proteins (beans, nuts, etc.) That way when you are planning dinner you can step into your pantry and say, “We are having spaghetti. I need a pasta for my starch, a can of tomato sauce (red,) I will add sautéed green and yellow peppers to the sauce for color and substance, and we can have a can have Greek yogurt with crushed pineapple and oats for dessert.” And there it will be! Colors and complete nutrition set out for you to be easily found and easily accessible. PLUS! Once your kids are old enough to help with dinner prep they will easily be able to find everything you ask for.


And last but not least, anyone in the family can help with grocery put-away, and in my case, when I get swept off to a birth in a hurry, my hubby or the babysitter can easily plan a complete meal without ever looking in my cabinets.



Elizabeth Leonard
About Elizabeth Leonard

Health, Lifestyle, and Creavity Coach. Writer. Food Life Photographer. Peaker, Cooker, Eater. Whisky and tea lover, plaid and Outlander addict. https://www.instagram.com/tinkerpippibeth/