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Healthy Living Healthy Living

Shopping and Meal Planning Tips – Facts Up Front

By betterinbulk on Mar. 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Feeding my family of seven probably should be a full time job - it certainly could be. Between the meal planning, the grocery shopping and then the preparing of all of the meals, not to mention the need to pay attention to the nutritional value of what I'm feeding everyone, sometimes I think it's a miracle we eat as well as we do.

If feeding a family were only about plopping food on the table, it wouldn't be such a stress. But it's not only about putting dinner in front of the kids. As moms, we worry about feeding our kids the best foods with the best ingredients to help them not only grow up strong and healthy...but grow up with a healthy perspective on food and nutrition.

This mom needs some help in that department. As much as I love the idea of modeling a healthful diet and providing nutritious options for my kids, the reality is that I don't have a lot of extra time to find food with less sugar, more fiber, less saturated fat, or less sodium. I need things to be as easy as possible.

Luckily, the Grocery Manufacturers Association Facts Up Front initiative, a voluntary campaign launched in 2011, is making it so much easier for moms like me - with not a lot of time to spare planning or shopping for the meals we feed our families - to make positive decisions when grocery shopping.

How is Facts Up Front helping moms make better-informed choices about the food we buy and eat? Simple. They are putting key information from the Nutrition Facts Panel on the front of the package. No more picking up every box or can and pouring over labels at the store.

Not only will Facts Up Front labeling provide a quick and easy resource to follow when at the store, but their website, FactsUpFront.org, is a fabulous resource for consumers to learn more about reading, understanding, and applying the information we find on food labels.

Have I mentioned that I'm a busy mom of five and can use all the help I can get?

I love that so many food manufacturers as well as retailers are already jumping on board. Food companies including Nestle, Post Foods, Ocean Spray, PepsiCo, Campbell's, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Kellogg's, Kraft and Heinz already feature Facts Up Front on their packaging. Stores like Froger, Hy-Vee and Wegmans are also implementing Facts Up Front on their store brand packages.

Shopping tips: What to look for on labels

  • You want foods with more nutrients - look for labels that mention potassium, fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and D.
  • You want foods with less saturated fat - choose lean cuts of meat and add more seafood into your meal planning. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
  • You want foods with less sodium - look for reduced sodium or no salt added versions of the foods you buy, and when cooking at home add herbs and spices to season your food instead of salt.
  • You want foods with less sugar - drink water instead of sugary sodas and juices. Stock up on fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth as a snack or dessert.
  • You want foods with the right amount of calories - Use the nutrition calculator at FactsUpFront.org to determine your daily calorie needs and then pay attention to calories listed on Facts Up Front labels.

Meal Planning Tips

After you've brought the food home, use these tips and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate visual to create the best meals for your family:

  • Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables
  • Choose lean proteins, like serving chicken instead of beef...or reach for the beans instead
  • Serve whole grains
  • Use low-fat or fat-free dairy products
  • Use smaller plates to eat smaller portions
  • Check serving sizes on Facts Up Front labels
  • Check out all of the amazing recipes at FactsUpFront.org to build healthier meals

How is your family making healthier choices in the food you're buying and eating? I'd love to hear your best tips and tricks for serving the most nutritious foods to your family!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Facts Up Front.


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Replies (1-10):
  • goddess99
  • by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 10:42 AM
  • We always have fruit in the house since it's my main diet and I always serve 1 or 2 veggies with every dinner. Often we don't have meat, there's not a need for it. I watch our sodium intake more than anything.

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  • layasmommie777
  • by New Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 11:43 AM
  • Food/Eating Tips:   Eat complex carbs during the day before 430pm, try to aim below 100g daily.  Eat fruits mainly vegetables in the evening with a lean protien, bake and grill, if you must fry lightly in coconut or olive oils. This helps with weight control and loss.  Eat whole grains like oatmeal, bread and pastas, stay away from white rice and regular potatoes which the body turns into pure sugar. 

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  • sukainah
  • by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 2:17 PM
  • I try to make our foods as healthy as possible, but I have two picky kids and kind of a picky DH too.  We probably need to add a little more protein to our kids' diets and also more veggies and fruits for my DH and I.

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  • TerriC
  • by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 2:22 PM
  • I shop more often so I can get fresh produce and meats.  I bake chicken or turkey on Sundays to use in the girls lunches for the week.  They have started bringing salads to school on a daily basis, it makes life east and makes me happy to see then making such healthy choices at such a young age.

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