Stealth health trend on the rise

Kids may groan at the site of broccoli, but are adults any more attracted to the little trees? Although Americans are beginning to reduce their calorie intake, as a U.S. Department of Agriculture study reported, they still aren’t too keen on giving up their salty treats and savory sweets. If you’re enrolled in online culinary school, it may be beneficial to understand the new trend of sneaking healthy food onto menus.

A healthy focus
Restaurateurs may want to keep in mind the prevalence of healthy foods in various restaurants settings. The Washington Post reported on several restaurants moving in the direction of serving healthier options. LYFE Kitchen of California uses health-conscious consumer behavior as its business model, banning ingredients like butter and cream from its kitchen, the article stated. Another restaurant, Seasons 52, also prides itself on only having items with less than 475 calories on its seasonally rotating menu, its website boasts.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, dedicated to public health improvement, reported in a study done by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, that big food companies like General Mills and Nestle have participated in lowering the calorie count in Americans’ diets. The study found that large companies like these, pulled a total of 6.4 trillion calories off the shelf from 2007 to 2012. Low-calorie snacks like 100-calorie packs were particularly effective methods, the study stated. Chefs looking to enter the big business world of cooking may want to consider keeping calories at a minimum when crafting recipes for packaged foods to keep up with trends.

Stealth health
Making healthy food taste good is one way chefs can incorporate nutritious items into their menus. On the other hand, hiding fruits and vegetables in traditionally unhealthy foods is another option.

NPR quoted David Just of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition saying, “Taste is a suggestion more than anything else.”

In other words, if you tell someone that the food tastes good, they’ll believe it. The stigma of spinach tasting bad is merely something that has been instilled in kids’ (and adults’) brains over the years. Find a way to camouflage the spinach, and odds are, people will like it.

Other strategies NPR reported include installing certain lighting that makes healthy foods look better and tricking people into reaching for the more nutritious option. Placing the healthier option within closer reach, like putting white milk in front of the chocolate milk, also encouraged healthier eating behavior. Marketing and creating healthier foods is a trend on the rise, but sometimes it takes a few tricks to remind consumers what they really want!

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