New trends in healthy meals for kids

Trend Observation: Meatless at School

One New York elementary school has made the change to an all-vegetarian school lunch menu. P.S. 244 in Flushing, the Active Learning Elementary School, which opened in 2008, gradually started offering vegetarian meals more and more days a week, reducing the days per week they served traditional cafeteria food like chicken nuggets.

The public school’s all-vegetarian cafeteria is the first in New York City to nix meat and believed to be one of the first public schools in the nation to serve only vegetarian fare.

We know that when students eat a healthy diet, they’re able to focus better. Their immune systems are stronger, so they’re sick less, and then they’re in school more and they’re able to focus and concentrate better, and therefore learn better. There’s research about that.” – Amie Hamlin, the executive director of New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, to NBC

Across the board

We have seen a more concentrated effort to address the issue of childhood obesity. More media networks have made changes to marketing materials to increase healthy and more local initiatives are highlighting parental responsibility for fostering unhealthy. At schools, we’ve seen more examples of school systems incorporate healthier, and parents are certainly looking for healthier food options for their kids.

According to Mintel’s Parents’ Attitudes Toward Kids’ and Teens’ Snacking US February 2013 report, 88% of parents said that any health attribute is important when choosing a snack, the most common response.

It’s possible that we will see more meat-free options as meat prices continue to rise and the more opportunities consumers have to be exposed to these choices–and at a younger age–the more accepting they are likely to be of these alternatives.

For a deep and complete analysis of the current situation with children and health eating in the US, Mintel published the following market research: Parents’ Attitudes Toward Kids’ and Teens’ Snacking US

This is an observation from our Inspire trend Non-Standard Society which looks at groups outside the mainstream and their growing influence. For the latest trends and observations on Inspire, click here.