The 7 biggest trends shaping kids’ diets in 2018
The 7 biggest trends shaping kids’ diets in 2018
Gone are the days where chocolate puffs were considered breakfast and fries considered dinner. With decades of research on nutrition and wellbeing to back us up, we now know better than ever how important it is for kids to consume a range of simple yet nutritionally dense foods.
Research has shown that good nutrition is crucial in early life (from birth to around 2 years) in order to minimise the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.
Parents around the world are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of eating well, too. Foods that are high in sugar, kilojoules and saturated fats are in less demand than they were 20 years ago, and there is a real move towards purchasing nutritious and organic produce. This seems to be having an impact on children’s health, with the statistics suggesting that kids today are healthier than ever.
By being aware of the social trends influencing your children’s wellbeing, you can capitalise on the knowledge and resources available to help your kids thrive. Here are the 5 biggest dietary trends:
Many Aussie children today – around 1 in 20 kids – experience food-related allergies. Food manufacturers are responding to this by creating options free from allergens such as dairy, egg, gluten and nuts. This means it’s easier than ever to find allergen-free items like chocolate, milk, cereal and flour. This gives families greater freedom of choice and can help get kids with food allergies back in the kitchen!
With dietary guidelines everywhere encouraging the greater consumption of fruits and vegetables, there has been a huge movement towards eating plant-based foods in Australia. Although vegetarianism and veganism in the nation is booming, even regular omnivores are opting for an increase of plants in their diet. Things like sweet potato and kale chips, cauliflower pizza and zucchini pasta are all popular dishes. Dairy-free milk alternatives such as almond and cashews are also becoming commonplace.
Families have become increasingly knowledgeable about the health benefits of organic produce and as a result are switching to certified organic foods where possible. Organic foods are considered to be lower in artificial pesticides, additives and other chemicals than regular foods. This desire for minimally-processed produce and genuinely natural ingredients has seen the growth of certified organic produce in stores and homes across the nation.
Australians are becoming increasingly curious about trying out the cuisines of other cultures and incorporating them into their diet. As such, you’ll find a range of cuisines in recipe books and websites, and in your local food court. Thai, African, Japanese, Greek, Mexican, Indian, Vietnamese – the options are endless. Consuming a wide variety of foods is also a great way to improve your diet.
Nutritionally balanced foods
Families are more aware than ever as to the importance of consuming nutritionally balanced foods. Families are consistently swapping unhealthy foods for healthier alternatives, such as by baking homemade wedges rather than making deep fried chips. Soft drink and pizza is no longer considered an acceptable meal. As a response to this demand for good food, healthy fast-food places are popping up everywhere offering things like burritos and healthy burgers as an alternative to traditional deep fried chicken and burger joints.
We live in an age where parents and kids are busier than ever; between school, work, hobbies and social commitments, it can be hard to find time to prepare homemade food. While families still value a home cooked meal, convenient premade meals and snacks are an equally important part of the modern lifestyle. Fast-food, packaged snacks and frozen meals are all oft-consumed food items, however these are becoming increasingly more wholesome as consumers demand less sugar, fat and kilojoules. Instead of chocolate bars, for instance, people are opting for raw cacao and date bars.
Ethical and environmentally-friendly items
As families become more aware of the social and health implications of the foods they consume, there is a greater demand for more transparent and ethical food options. Families want to know that they are making purchases which will help, not harm, the environment and the people producing their food. As a result, social enterprises and businesses that donate some of their proceeds to charity are becoming widely popular.
Additionally, with many Australians concerned about the environmental effects of waste and pollution, people are seeking out products with minimal packaging, or those which can be recycled or composted.
The trend towards a healthier and more sustainable diet is growing. It is now easier than ever to incorporate nutritious foods into your family’s lifestyle and raise children to make better dietary choices as they grow older.