Interested in learning more about some of the emerging nutrition trends for 2017?  These are a few of my top picks.

Get kids in the kitchen

I think one of the most important trends is being in the kitchen with your kids! Getting kids involved at an early age and teaching them the life skill of cooking is a key trend that is gaining popularity.  We know that kids like and enjoy foods more that they have been involved in creating. And home cooked meals are often healthier than restaurant, bought or take-out options.

Plant proteins are still in

This year the momentum of the 2016 International Year of Pulses continues. With rising food costs, especially the cost of meat, fish, and poultry, we can look to economical, and versatile pulses as a staple on our grocery list, and a way to extend our food dollar.

If you haven’t used pulses in cooking and don’t know where to begin, lentils are a terrific place to start!  I would encourage you to try this hoisin turkey lentil lettuce wraps recipe from Canadian Lentils. It uses ground poultry and split red lentils for protein. Lentils replace a portion of the meat and not only add protein, but add fibre and other key nutrients like iron. Lentils are grown in Canada, are a sustainable economical food source, are easy to prepare, and add nutrients to your family’s diet!

These Turkey and Lentil Lettuce Wraps are served family style, and every family member makes their own.

Vegetables are superstars

Vegetables are the star of dishes this year! They should fill half your plate, and not just be a side dish to meat, rice or pasta. They are low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals, and disease fighting compounds. Vegetables contain Vitamin A and C, magnesium and potassium, and folate.  They are versatile, high in fibre, and typically low in fat.  There are more convenient options out there to make it easy to enjoy the healthy benefits of veggies! Fresh, frozen, bagged and ready to snack on or cook with.

Meal “Bowls” are all the rage

Meal bowls are quick and easy! From whole grain to smoothie to veggie and salad bowls, there is no limit. Bowls aren’t exactly new to 2017, but this is one healthy meal trend that is sure to continue. Bowls make it easy to please different palates and diets (from vegan to diabetes-friendly) because everyone can customize. Bowls can often be prepped in advance so they’re perfect for breakfast, lunches or rushed weeknight dinners for time starved families. Easy, creative and healthy!

Turmeric – a fresh ingredient to add to foods and beverages

This year brings an increased interest in anti-inflammatory foods to fight disease. Turmeric is a South Asian spice, and is part of the ginger family. It’s yellow hue comes from the curcuminoid compounds that are being intensely studied for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric is a spice commonly used in south Asian and Indian food, but it is now being added to smoothies, juices, ciders and even lattes.