Blue Zones® Checklists

Our checklists help you optimize your life for maximum health and happiness.

Background

Did you know you could consume 100 fewer calories every day without even thinking about it? Simply making small changes in your kitchen can lead you and your family to effortlessly eat fewer processed foods and properly portion your meals.

Objective

This questionnaire will help you determine the impact your current kitchen has on both the quality and quantity of your own food consumption. The answer section will help you see where you can make small, simple changes to facilitate healthy and conscious eating.

Directions

  1. Choose the answer that matches your current behavior to see how supportive your home is of physical activity.
  2. The checklist will automatically add up your points so you can see your score at the bottom of the page.
  3. Enter your email address to receive a copy of your Blue Zones® Kitchen Checklist results or print a copy directly from the page.
  4. Start making changes to your kitchen based on your answers and the recommendations given. These changes don’t have to be made all at once. Pick the easier ones to start with and continue completing at least one item each week.
  5. Complete this tool again in two months to see how many points you’ve gained and how your rankings have improved!
  • Enter in your email address to receive a copy of your Blue Zones® Kitchen Checklist results.
    How to do it: When you buy snacks like pretzels, portion them into small bags to avoid overeating.

    Why do it: Re-bagging your snacks will help you eat reasonably sized portions. Additionally, you actually burn more calories by preparing fresh meals and snacks.
    How to do it: Get in the habit of keeping your healthy foods on the front of the top shelf of your refrigerator.

    Why do it: Placing the healthy options at eye level will encourage you to snack mindfully.
    How to do it: Replace your oversized plates with smaller 10” plates.

    Why do it: Eating smaller plates can promote smaller portions. Over the last 20 years, the average U.S. dinner plate has grown to over 12 inches. During the same timeframe we are eating 22 percent more calories. The easiest, mindless way to eat less is to eat off smaller plates.
    How to do it: Replace your big slurp drinking glasses with smaller glasses.

    Why do it: Larger glasses may increase consumption.
    How to do it: Put unhealthy snacks and food out of eyes’ reach on bottom shelves or behind cabinet doors. Label it “Junk Food.”

    Why do it: Most junk food is consumed because you see it and it looks good. If you’re going to have junk food in your house, hiding it from your line of vision will dramatically decrease consumption.
    How to do it: Plate your entire meal before sitting down at the table. Avoid eating family style by leaving the serving dishes on the counter.

    Why do it: Leave the serving dishes on the counter—not on the table—that way, if you really are hungry for seconds, you'll be forced to stand up and walk to the kitchen.
    How to do it: Remove the TV from your eating environment.

    Why do it: When other things are going on in your eating environment, you are more likely to pay attention to them rather than the food you are consuming. Avoid multi-tasking while you eat by turning off the TV and radio. Practice this habit while you’re at work, too—try not to work while eating. Take some time away from your desk to eat lunch.
    How to do it: Take a fruit bowl you already have and put it on your countertop in a well-lit, prominent place.

    Why do it: Placing the healthy options in convenient, eye-level locations will encourage you to snack mindfully. Keeping the fruit bowl filled will also encourage you to buy a variety of fresh produce items.
    How do I do it: Get rid of your electric can opener and use a hand operated one instead. Also get a potato masher and garlic press, rather than an electric mixer.

    Why do it: Manual kitchen tasks encourage hand and arm strengthening. Try squeezing fruit juice, mashing potatoes or beans, and opening cans manually.
    How to do it: Create a list with the best longevity foods (nuts, whole grain bread, beans, fruit & vegetables) and the worst junk food (salty snacks, sweetened sugary drinks, processed meats, packaged sweets) and display it on your refrigerator.

    Why do it: These documents list the best longevity foods to have in your kitchen at all times and the worst junk foods to keep out of your kitchen. They will serve as environmental nudges to help you become more conscious of your consumption.
  • 0
    out of 40 points
  • 35+ points:

    Blue Zones Kitchen. You have set up your eating environment in a way that allows you to eat healthy meals and snacks. Can you get yourself all the way to scoring 40/40 points?

    25 to 34:

    Mindful Eater. You are well on your way to creating an ideal eating environment. What other changes are you going to make to have a Blue Zones Kitchen?

    15 to 24:

    On Your Way. When you begin to pair many of these behaviors together, you’ll start seeing a healthier environment. Which item is first on your list of changes? Get started on that right now.

    Below 15:

    Just Getting Started. Everyone has to start somewhere. Begin the process by prioritizing the changes you want to make and start on them tomorrow.

  • Submit your Blue Zones Kitchen Checklist results to have them emailed to you or print a copy directly from the page. Start making changes to your kitchen based on your answers and the recommendations given. These changes don’t have to be made all at once. Pick the easier ones to start with and continue completing at least one item each week.

References

Hetherington M.M. and Blundell-Birtill P. (2018). The portion size effect and overconsumption – towards downsizing solutions for children and adolescents. Nutrition Bulletin; Vol. 43, Issue 1: 61-68.

Hughes, J.W., Goldstein, C.M., Logan, C. et al. Controlled testing of novel portion control plate produces smaller self-selected portion sizes compared to regular dinner plate. BMC Obes 4, 30 (2017).

Clarke, N., Pechey, R., Pilling, M. et al. Wine glass size and wine sales: four replication studies in one restaurant and two bars. BMC Res Notes 12, 426 (2019).