Dr. Joanna McMillan Avoid Fridge Chaos Interview

Dr. Joanna McMillan Avoid Fridge Chaos Interview

Foolproof Fridge Stacking Guide: Tips for the Modern Aussie Family

Westinghouse has teamed up with leading nutritionist, Dr. Joanna McMillan, to create the Foolproof Fridge Stacking Guide: Tips for the Modern Aussie Family to help eliminate kitchen chaos.

Stacked with practical tips and tricks – from where to store the milk to make sure it remains fresh, to where to keep the fruit and veggies to keep them crisper for longer- the guide is designed to help busy Australian families maximise fridge space, keep food fresher for longer and make it easier to find things, ultimately reducing chaos, while saving time and money.

Dr. Joanna says: "Between mum, dad and the kids, the fridge is the one kitchen appliance that every family member is guaranteed to use. However, some of the most common gripes I hear in my line of work include – I can never find anything, it's a mess or I can never fit anything in!"

"When you open your fridge, you want to be inspired to create a wholesome meal or snack. By keeping your fridge organised with healthy, ready-to-eat items more visible, and the treats that aren't for everyday eating hidden away, you make healthy eating easier for the whole family."

"A well organised fridge will not only minimise food waste but save you money," Dr. Joanna concludes. Harnessing over sixty years of experience designing appliances for Australian families, Westinghouse has just launched the new 605L Stainless Steel French Door refrigerator. Made to fit neatly into a standard Australian 90cm kitchen cavity and boasting a huge internal capacity, this fridge can be customised to fit in all your food and drinks, even after the biggest grocery shop.

The Westinghouse 605L Stainless Steel French Door refrigerator is available now.
RRP AUS $2,599.00.
For more information, visit www.westinghouse.com.au

Interview with Dr. Joanna McMillan, Mother and Nutritionist

Question: What types of fridge chaos are we seeing in Australian homes?

Dr. Joanna McMillan: Veggies rotting uneaten at bottom of fridge. Leftovers not being used up before they go off. Liquids from raw meats contaminating cooked and ready to eat foods. Not finding what you need easily making food prep more difficult. Healthy foods not front in view to make them top of mind.

Question: Could you share your top tips of eliminating fridge chaos?

Dr. Joanna McMillan:

Fridge Door

The door of the fridge experiences the greatest fluctuations in temperature, particularly if the fridge is open and closed frequently. Therefore, store the most stable items here including mustard, chutney and other condiments, butter, jam, drinks, nutrition supplements and any medications requiring refrigeration. Ensure the medications are on the top door shelf, out of reach of younger children.

With FlexStor™ you enjoy the convenience of being able to easily change the configuration of your fridge, whatever your needs. Adjust the height and position of the door bins to fit in large and smaller items and arrange your fridge your way.

Top shelves
The upper shelves will be slightly warmer so ready to eat foods such as cheese and yoghurt should live here.

Middle shelves
The middle shelves are cooler with less temperature fluctuation so keep unopened dairy here.
Stock up on healthy snacks for the kids and store them at child-friendly eye level. Washed berries or cut up veggies and a tub of natural yoghurt work a treat!

Remove cheese from plastic wrap and rewrap in baking paper and store together in a container. Plastic makes the cheese -sweat' and the plastic can leech unwanted chemicals into the cheese. Soft cheese such as feta, ricotta, cream cheese and cottage cheese are best left in their original containers, as these fresh cheeses have a shorter shelf life and need to be used up more quickly.
Keep any leftovers in ready-to-go containers to make mid-week meal prep a breeze.

Bottom shelves
Store raw meat and fish in sealed containers on the bottom shelf of the fridge. This ensures that if there any leaked juices, they won't contaminate other items in the fridge. Yuck!

Pop items with the shortest shelf life at the front of the fridge to remind you to use them before the expiry – here, they'll be easy to grab quickly at your next family barbeque.

Crisper Drawer
Store your fruit and veggies in the FlexFresh™ Crisper as this helps to extend their shelf life. Move the divider to suit your groceries and enable you to keep your fruit and veggies separate, as fruit gives off ethylene – a natural chemical in the plant involved in ripening the fruit – and this can cause the other produce to spoil more quickly.

Berries, grapes, citrus fruit and apples are all ready to eat when you purchase them so they should go straight into the crisper.
Let unripe fruits (mangoes, pears, avocado, stone fruit and tomatoes) ripen on the benchtop before they're stored in the crisper.
Try to get into the habit of washing and chopping extra veggies so they're ready for your next meal or snack.

Family Safe™ lockable compartment
Store items not for everyday eating, or those you don't want the kids helping themselves to such as a special dessert or chocolate, in the Westinghouse FamilySafe™ lockable compartment.

Question: How do these tips also eliminate kitchen chaos?

Dr. Joanna McMillan: By feeling organised and tidy it helps to enjoy time in the kitchen and preparing a meal. You can easily see the foods you have and they are readily to hand without digging and looking for items. You can easily see what leftovers there are for easy quick meals.

Question: What should we have, in the fridge, for school holidays and weekends?

Dr. Joanna McMillan: Cooked meats for easy sandwiches, wraps and salads – cook extra when cooking meat. Healthy dips such as hummus and guacamole for entertaining. Plenty of veggies for salads and cooking. A selection of meats and seafood – planned for meals. Dark chocolate for a treat. Greek yoghurt – great for kids and adults with fresh berries or to top muesli or wholegrain cereal.

Question: What are your favourite healthy snacks to have in the fridge for when your kid's friends visit?

Dr. Joanna McMillan: My kids love apple or pear with cheddar cheese, cheese with wholegrain crackers or oatcakes, batons of carrot, cucumber and celery with hummus dip, frozen fruit and yoghurt smoothies made into lollies in the freezer, I also keep my flour in the freezer (stops weevils) for making wholegrain muffins and banana/fruit bread. Berries with a few pieces of dark choc.

Question: How do you make these snacks seem more appealing?

Dr. Joanna McMillan: Serve them nicely so they look appealing and make them normal – don't emphasise them as healthy rather as delicious.

Question: How else do you eliminate food wastage?

Dr. Joanna McMillan: Planning and thinking ahead. Freeze foods that can be frozen if you won't use before the best before date. Monitor the fridge and make lists before shopping.

Question: Can you share a recipe with us?

Dr. Joanna McMillan: Hummus Two Ways

Time: 10 mins
Serves 8

2 cooked beetroots, peeled (for beetroot hummus variation)
Juice of 1 lemon (50ml)
1/2 garlic clove
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup unhulled tahini
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt flakes
Approximately 3tb water
sprinkle of smoky paprika to garnish

Put all the ingredients into your Vitamix or food processor – it is much easier in a Vitamix as you can use the tamper to push the ingredients down into the blades. If you're using a food processor you will need to stop a few times and scrape down the sides. Blend for a couple of minutes until completely smooth.
Scoop the hummus into a bowl and sprinkle with a little paprika when ready to serve.

Interview by Brooke Hunter