Healthy Living: 4 kitchen essentials to make healthy meals at home

Planning healthy meals for your family can be tough, especially during the holidays.  In this week's Healthy Living, Marni Hughes spent some time with a nutritionist and has four kitchen essentials that will help take the stress out of meal prep.

On a trip through Costco, wellness coach and nutritionist, Deborah Enos is on a mission to show us how to make meal prep easy.  Enos says staying organized is key to meal prep and a healthy diet.

Enos says, "As a nutritionist, if I'm not organized I will order food using speed dial on my drive home and you can't control take-out."

Organization in the kitchen starts with good containers to sort and store your food.  Enos says glass snapware is her go-to.  "I think having great containers makes all the difference.  I also like them because they're clear glass.  When you put them in your refrigerator you can immediately see what you have."

A crock-pot is another great kitchen investment for healthy meal planning.  Enos says the "Crock-pot is my go-to because you can make something on Sunday and it can literally last for three or four days of meals."  She says add beans to any meal in the crock-pot and you'll get an instant protein boost.  Plus, beans have magnesium which can be calming and fiber that helps maintain a healthy weight.

Rice cookers are another good way to prepare healthy food at home for the entire week.  Enos says, "It makes such great rice, but you can also make quinoa, you can make farro, you can make all kinds of grains, including oatmeal and it comes out perfect every time."

Enos says a good thermos is also a must have for people on the go, whether it be work or school adding that most thermos' will keep things hot for six to eight hours, some even longer.

Finally, when it comes to healthy snacking, Enos says the best snacks on the go are nuts and seeds.  She loves pistachios, especially the ones in the shell because it takes a little bit of work to get the shell off.  She also loves pumpkin seeds this time of year because they're a great source of zinc.  Enos says zinc is really helpful for strengthening your immune system.