In 2015, feeding your family will be all about convenience, nutrition and technology. That's because moms are looking for fast, easy ways to prepare healthy meal and snack options for their broods. So whether it's ordering ingredients for tonight's dinner online or employing an app to measure the nutrition content of what's on your plate, the mom of the (very near) future is going to be taking food for the family to the next level.
I talked to Phil Lempert, the food trends editor at NBC News' Today show, to find out more about the four major trends we'll see in the coming year.
Trend No. 1: Same-day food delivery is expanding
Lest you think this service is just going to be available to urban mamas, think again.
"Google wants to be able to deliver from every store in America, from big cities to small towns," Lempert says.
Meanwhile, same-day food delivery is affordable—a couple bucks at most—and may be well worth it for moms (like me!) who dread toting the kiddos to the market.
Trend No. 2: Gen Z moms are quitting the microwave
Moms born after 1995 are going back to basics, according to Lempert. Along with opting for fresh, healthy ingredients is a movement toward the stovetop and away from the microwave.
"It's fresh chicken, simple foods for kids, like hot dogs, or breakfast for dinner," Lempert says. "The difference is they don't want to use the microwave; it's all about the stovetop."
Food manufacturers have definitely begun playing into this trend by focusing on improving their microwaveable meals to make them more attractive to young moms.
"Healthy Choice eliminated sodium by adding a little splash of red wine, and they've cut out fat by adding some apples to it," Lempert says.
Trend No. 3: Moms are reaching for healthy snacks
Nearly one in four women snack three to four times each day compared to one in five men, according to statistics compiled by Nielsen. So food manufacturers are increasingly talking to women about the flavors and sizes of snacks they desire for themselves—and their kids.
"Moms are acting on research that eating smaller meals throughout the day is healthier. And they're looking for the whole grains with a snack, like Orville Redenbacher Popcorn, and protein with a snack, like David's Sunflower Seeds. Women love David's Chocolate Covered Almonds. It's all about nutritious snacks that keep the kids from going to those candy bars," Lempert says.
Trend No. 4: Meal prep is going online
Moms want more information about what they're serving their kids, and they want it instantly. That's why products like the Prep Pad are so hot in 2015. This device allows you to scan the bar codes on ingredients in your recipe to get the nutrition information for each serving.
Lempert recommends checking out ReadySetEat.com, too, because it pairs well with the app.
"You can customize your desired prep time or number of ingredients. You can even type in your zip code and find out what ingredients are on sale at your local supermarket," he says.
You can learn more about food trends for 2015 at Forkful.com.