More than just an everyday element of survival, food has become a pastime in the current culture. Whether you’re invited to a formal event or a social activity, you may naturally ask, “What will there be to eat?” The concept of food being associated with fun and recreation is so strong that studies have shown more than 60% of Major League Baseball fans say they cannot imagine games without hot dogs. In fact, MLB even released a guide celebrating this iconic food.
With eating now a hobby, society has adapted to make getting food more convenient. The result is cheap food, made quickly, at the expense of the health of individuals. Rising rates of obesity have resulted from the cultural obsession with cheap, fast food options. Estimates by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine suggest that by 2030 about 51% of Americans will be obese, including children.
In response to intimidating statistics like these, nutritional trends are shifting. Parents in particular are favoring products with specific nutritional qualities that allow children to enjoy food, avoid obesity, and consume vital nutrients.
The role of parents in influencing nutrition trends is difficult to overstate. Parents choose infant eating habits and strongly determine what their children eat throughout much of their young lives. Companies and service providers in the food industry have a tremendous opportunity to influence nutritional trends by marketing nutritional products to parents as they develop ideas regarding what their children need to thrive.
For example, many parents are aware of a growing concern about children consuming too much sugar. The side effects of consuming too much sugar as a child are numerous, including increasing the risk of:
- Hyperactivity issues
- Childhood obesity
- Tooth decay
- Type II Diabetes
Due to these well-known risks, many parents look for products marketed as “reduced sugar,” “sugar-free,” or “low sugar.” Other trends for healthy food products for kids include products offering dietary supplementation and fewer preservatives or additives. Some parents want to feed their children diets higher in protein. Protein is vital for development and health in children and adults but can be difficult to consume enough of as families turn to plant-based diets.
As people pay more attention to nutrition labeling as they shop and select foods, products offering limited ingredients and high healthy daily nutrition values are also becoming trendy. Given the projections about obesity in America, the parental shift toward purchasing healthier kids’ products may lead to positive dietary patterns.