Nutrition is a field that is constantly changing, and just like with fashion, the food trends come and go. Now that we’re closing in on the final few week of 2011, we thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of the food and nutrition trends that caught the attention of fellow registered dietitian and Self Magazine’s current “Eat Like Me” blogger Sarah-Jane Bedwell. We’re sure that some of these trends will continue to expand even after the ball drops, and hopefully contribute to some new and improved eating habits in 2012!

A Focus on Local and Sustainable Eating – People are beginning to realize that eating locally is great for their health and the earth. More and more restaurants are focusing on locally grown ingredients, giving consumers more fresh and healthful options to choose from. It would be great to see this trend continue, with restaurants branching out and getting creative, especially with fruits and veggies!

Cooking at Home – It might be because of the economy, or maybe we’re just more interested in cooking, but now more than ever, Americans are choosing to prepare their own meals at home. Not only is a home-cooked meal a little easier on the wallet than dining out, but it often results in a much more nutritious and reasonably sized meal than you would order at a restaurant. We’re sure this trend will stick around, as the options for frozen vegetables and easy-to-prepare entrees and side dishes continue to grow.

Food Photography – Now that we’re putting so much more time into creating healthy and delicious meals, we also want to showcase our culinary works of art on food blogs and websites. Even if food photography isn’t your thing, gawking at some of the amazing photos is the best way to get meal (or dessert) ideas! Jenna at www.eatliverun.com and Katie at www.yesiwantcake.com are just two of our favorite food bloggers!

SmartPhone Applications – Whether it’s scanning bar codes to get nutrition facts, using an app to keep track of calories, drafting a shopping list, or building a recipe, mobile apps are the latest and greatest when it comes to healthy living. We love them because they make healthy eating so much more accessible since so many people own (and are permanently attached to) a smartphone. It will be so interesting to see what innovative food and nutrition apps hit the mobile market in 2012! Just a reminder, though: apps should only be used as tools for weight loss and healthy eating. For more personalized advice, you should always seek out the help of a registered dietitian.

International Cuisine – Whether it’s old world Italian, Thai, or Middle Eastern, Americans have really broadened their palettes this year, as evidenced by the multitude of ethnic eateries popping up across the United States.More adventurous tastes are also motivating families to try their hands at ethnic cooking at home! If this trend continues, you can forget your passport, because an exotic and tasty meal will be right inside your kitchen!

We can’t say enough good things about the new and refreshing trends in food and nutrition, and we can’t wait to see what’s ahead in 2012! If you haven’t had a chance to take advantage, it’s not too late! Start cooking at home, shopping locally, or exploring some mobile apps! If you’ve had success incorporating these trends into your family’s healthy lifestyle, be sure to let us on know on Facebook and Twitter!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Family-Food/178786105530247

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Familyfoodllc

To stay current on everything happening in food and nutrition, be sure to visit the ADA website atwww.eatright.org.

Source: http://www.self.com/fooddiet/blogs/eatlikeme/2011/12/my-favorite-food-and-nutrition.html

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