Food Trends for 2012

“Kid food” is synonymous with “junk food.” Most kids’ menus are loaded with chemicals and fried foods. Eating in restaurants with kids is nearly impossible to find whole foods, unless you order off the adult menu. Of  course, the very best place to eat out is in an organic restaurant.

There’s good news! According to findings from the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2012″ survey of nearly 1,800 American Culinary Federation member chefs have found that kids’ menus are improving.

Zac & Angel are eating out at an organic restaurant by the beach.

“The top menu trends we’re seeing in our What’s Hot in 2012 survey reflect the macro-trends we have seen grow over the last several years,” said Joy Dubost, PhD, RD, director of Nutrition & Healthy Living for the National Restaurant Association. “Nutrition, especially when it comes to children, is becoming a major focus for the nation’s nearly 1 million restaurants, in tune with consumers’ increasing interest in healthful eating.”

The Top 20 Trends for 2012

  1. Locally sourced meats and seafood.
  2. Locally grown produce.
  3. Healthful kids’ meals.
  4. Hyper-local items.
  5. Sustainability as a culinary theme.
  6. Children’s nutrition as a culinary theme.
  7. Gluten-free/food allergy-conscious items.
  8. Locally produced wine and beer.
  9. Sustainable seafood.
  10. Whole grain items in kids’ meals.
  11. Newly fabricated cuts of meat.
  12. Farm/estate-branded items.
  13. Food trucks/street food.
  14. Artisan spirits.
  15. House-made/artisan ice cream.
  16. Health/nutrition as a culinary theme.
  17. Non-traditional fish.
  18. Fruit/vegetable kids’ side items.
  19. Children’s mini-meals (i.e. smaller versions of adult menu items).
  20. Culinary cocktails.

For more information about Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, CLICK HERE.


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