I know from experience that meal planning (prior to shopping) can save time and money. Another benefit is that meal planning also helps us make healthier menu choices.

When I cook off the cuff, I’m more likely to have an unbalanced meal, include fewer healthful choices, or over-eat because I didn’t plan portions.

These shopping and meal planning tips are brought to you by Facts Up Front and can help you create healthier menus for your family!

Facts Up Front is a tool that helps consumers make informed food choices. You’ve probably seen the Nutrition Facts Panel on the front of many packages in grocery stores lately. It’s been around since 2011 and displays important nutrition facts in an easy-to-read format right in front!

Facts Up Front Feature

As you’re shopping, it’s helpful to know facts like calories per serving, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar content so you can make healthier choices right at the store. I find the best way to ensure our family eats right is to simply bring home the best ingredients!

Here’s some more shopping and meal planning tips:

When shopping:

Check the nutrients! If a food product contains 10% or more of the RDA of a particular nutrient, this will appear on the Facts Up Front label. Look for potassium, fiber, calcium, protein, iron, and Vitamins A, C, and D.

Cook with oils or lean meats for lower saturated fat content.

Try no salt added versions or lower/reduced sodium procucts.

Go for less sugar - fruit for snacks or dessert and water for beverages are the best ways to reduce sugar in your diet.

Know your calorie needs. The Facts Up Front label will indicate how many calories per serving, so you can avoid over-consumption. And check out the nutrition calculator to help determine your families caloric needs.

When Meal Planning:

Go halvsies – fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

Choose lean proteins – chicken, fish, beans, quinoa.

Use whole grains – Try boiling up your own oatmeal instead of instant.

Control portions – use smaller plates, check the serving size on the Facts Up Front labels (I know I often just pour out the amount of cereal to fill the bowl instead of the much smaller serving size!).

Check out this video for how you can save time and money with Facts Up Front:

Planning ahead and reading label information always helps me create healthier menus for my family. Oh, and side benefit – having a menu plan in place is a great stress reducer as well! It’s a win-win!

FactsUpFront.org is a great resource you can use to understand how to read product labels, use a nutrition calculator, and find great recipes and tips!  Answer the question below for a chance to win $1,000!  Sweepstakes Rules.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Facts up Front. The opinions and text are all mine.