4 shifting food trends for families

We’ve come a long way from our eating habits of decades past. A wealth of grocery options and a more globalised supply chain, combined with better knowledge of how to cook and eat healthier food, has meant that families are enjoying meals very differently than they did in previous generations. Here, we explore some of the top food trends in 2022 and beyond.

What’s causing these food trends to shift?

Every family has their own preferences when it comes to cooking and eating food. However, there are some broad influences that have changed the way we eat – particularly at home. Thanks to the onset of COVID, both children and adults have been eating more meals at home than they did in the pre-pandemic world. That comes with both positives and negatives – it may mean we are eating healthier, less-processed foods. However, there is also the risk of overeating when we have unlimited access to food in our own fridge and pantry, with alcohol and junk food being consumed much more frequently.

That being said, recent years have also seen a concerted shift to more health-conscious eating habits, driven largely by the uptake of vegetarian diets and veganism, as well as an environmental approach to eating that adopts low-food-waste habits.

Here are four of the biggest food trends for families and how they’ve developed in recent years.

1. Changing meal times

An extended family enjoying a meal together

If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that it has enabled families to spend more time together at home. Parents are working remotely more often, and children spent a significant portion of 2020 and 2021 doing at-home learning. While stressful for busy families, it also resulted in an uptick in communal mealtimes.

According to a recent study, the vast majority of people said their meal times had changed since the pandemic, including making more meals from scratch, spending more time cooking as a family, involving children in food prep, and eating more meals together.

2. Healthier options are easier to access

With technology and automation allowing our global supply chains to move at lightning pace, we are being exposed to more food options than ever before. That means people seeking out healthy foods are able to access a larger selection in their local supermarkets.

There are now more ways than ever to find information about what types of food are good for our bodies, so we can make better decisions during meal planning. Some people choose to consult their GP while other people might choose to see a specialist, like an accredited dietitian or nutritionist. Whether it’s shining a light on which diets are fads and which ones actually work, or simply getting a greater understanding of the role carbs play in a healthy lifestyle, being better informed means we can make better decisions to eat healthily.

3. Plant-based alternatives

Woman with shopping bag full of vegetables

For years, plant-based meals have been showing up in supermarkets and restaurants, capturing the attention of Australians who may want to avoid animal-based products for ethical or environmental reasons. But until recently, some of the foods that make up a plant-based diet provided poor nutritional value. High-sodium, mass-produced meals can often be just as unhealthy as junk food.

The good news is that a growing popularity of plant-based diets means we now have greater access to high-quality plant-based alternatives. So much so that it’s easy to swap out a meat-based meal for a plant-based one without having to visit a different grocery store – plus there are so many recipes online that eating a more plant-rich diet should never get boring.

4. Popularity of food-subscription services soars

While it’s true that we may be spending more time at home, and therefore having greater capacity to cook healthy meals as a family, that doesn’t necessarily mean we have more hours in the day. In fact, many parents found that working from home due to COVID caused them to spend even more time working. Combined with the need to help young children manage their studies online, it makes sense that many families turned to food-subscription services.

The benefits of being able to order a box of meals that are delivered straight to your door every week are clear to see. In most cases, the food requires far less prep time than selecting a recipe, heading to the supermarket and then cooking dinner from scratch. Plus, with everything already labelled and measured for you, and recipe sheets supplied with each meal, it makes it easier to cook with the kids and spend more time as a family.

A shift to more environmentally and ethically responsible diets, a wider selection of local and international foods available at grocery stores, and of course the effects of the pandemic have all contributed to major shifts in food trends for families. If it means spending more time with loved ones at home and in the kitchen, then all for the better!

The pandemic caused many families to shift their lifestyle and plans for the future. It has also been a good reminder to get the life insurance you need to protect your loved ones, should the unexpected happen. You can request a quote with Real Insurance today or call us on 1300 377 325 to get the right life insurance policy for your family.