The latest food trends are here, right here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, this is certainly interesting. In a recent report from Forbes Magazine, they named the top 12 food trends for 2014 after naming cupcakes, sriracha and pretzel buns top trends in 2013. Funny thing, we thought cupcakes were a trend in around 2010, but hey, The Feeding Your Family Blog is that far ahead of the times. We don’t want to mention all 12 new trends, but we do want to focus on five of them.

First on the Forbes list is locally sourced everything, yes we know, we’ve been promoting Buy Local for years. According to the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot in 2014, chefs indicated local sourcing played a role in four of the top ten food trends with local meats and seafood coming in first, followed closely by locally sourced produce. Second on the Forbes list was veggies galore. A study by a company named Dataessentials found that one-third of all restaurant chains now have at least one vegetarian entrée, and a Harris Poll found that 50% of all American eat at least one vegetarian meal per week, up 40% from 2007.

Number three on the list was healthier kids’ meals. Who wouldn’t want that? Childhood obesity is a real threat and a real concern among parents, that’s why you’ll see concerned moms and dads pushing for a side of sliced apples, carrots, yogurt and baked fries. Fourth on the list was gluten free. It certainly is a hot trend with gluten free menus and gluten free sections in many grocery stores. In the National Restaurant Association’s report, three-quarters of the chefs surveyed indicated they will be doing more gluten free cooking in the next year.

Finally, coming in at number six on the Forbes list was nuts. A 2013 NDP Group survey found that 77% of Americans have nuts on hand at home, and a startling number of people incorporate them into all three meals. Think that’s crazy? Try this baked potato and nuts recipe next time you’re looking for a twist: http://www.food.com/recipe/baked-potato-with-nuts-464606.

All of these trends reflect a healthier lifestyle with a big emphasis on nutrition and wellness. It’s no secret that the new American diet is rapidly changing, and that’s a good thing. As the famous poet and essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said, “The first wealth is health.”

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