Happy & Healthy Nutrition Trends for 2018

Ok. They’re cupcakes. But they’re the perfect bite size!

It’s the new year and that means a whole bunch of folks are promising – yet again- to be healthier and eat a healthier diet. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat ‘diet food’!

And the good news is that ‘healthy eating’ today is delicious and nutritious. Join me and host of Atlanta & Company Christine Pullara as we taste our way through the trends. Click on the Atlanta & Company link here to view the video segment and see the recipe happen!

So what’s hot in food & nutrition for the New Year 2018?

Let’s taste our way through the trends! 

Go With Your Gut! – foods that improve digestive health is one of the hottest nutrition trends. Important because it also helps boost your immune system. Yogurts, yogurt drinks, kefir, kombucha tea and fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut count as “probiotic” foods. Vegetables, beans, lentils and other vegetable based foods are important “prebiotic” foods that actually feed our healthy gut bacteria. 


Old School Foods Make a Comeback! –  look out Greek yogurt, cottage cheese isn’t Grandma food anymore. High in protein and other dairy nutrients, it’s gaining in popularity with new flavors and packaging for on the go lifestyles. Many traditional cottage cheese companies such as Breakstone are creating ‘fruit on the side’ to go containers and new companies including Good Culture and Muuna are entering the market to meet the cottage cheese comeback trend. 

And Prunes are Prunes again! No more “dried plums”, prunes are back in vogue with a modern twist because of their digestive health benefits. California Prunes are among the best in quality because growers and packers have been busy doing what’s best to grow and make the best prunes for over 150 years.

Count 100 calories for 5 prunes. And this perfect snack sized portion delivers 3 grams of fiber, as well as other nutrients including potassium, magnesium and polyphenols. New research shows that prunes ( who knew!!!??) are actually good for bone health. The nutrients in prunes help slow down bone loss as we age. Another reason to reach for California Prunes.

5 California Prunes: Perfect Snack Size

RECIPE: Plum Good Jamaican Jerk Spice Chicken with Prunes

The fruity flavors of prunes combined with the spicy kick of Jamaican jerk seasoning adds a fabulous flavor punch to boneless chicken breasts. This is a great recipe to add to your New Year’s resolution to cook healthier dishes without giving up any of the flavor fun. 

Simple Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) coarsely chopped California PRUNES
1/2 cup chopped multi color bell pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice

Easy Directions

Rub 1 teaspoon of the jerk seasoning onto chicken breasts. In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat until melted. Add chicken; cook 10 minutes or until done, turning once. Remove chicken to serving platter; keep warm. Add remaining jerk seasoning, remaining olive oil, orange juice, prunes, bell pepper and lime juice to skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon over chicken. Serve with brown rice, white rice or wild rice blend as in photo.


Snacks with Benefits- snacking isn’t going away, but snacks that pack a nutrition punch are more popular than ever.  Quality is taking center stage, instead of just quantity. You want those 100 calorie packs to pack a good nutrition punch. Traditional brands such as Kellogg’s are going strong to add healthy snacks to their well loved brand. 

Look for snack bars and bites with protein added for good measure. ALSO, nutritious foods are becoming more convenient.

Look for Quinoa cups that cook instantly with hot water in minutes. Now Foods brand Q Cups have lots of flavors to choose from and you can get creative to add more of your own spices and chopped vegetables! 

Think About Your Drink- wines are getting lighter, how to identify lower alcohol and lower calorie wines.  Look for the percentage of alcohol on the back label.

The higher the alcohol content, the higher the calorie count. That’s why Grillo is my GO-TO wine for the New Year.

Grillo is a white wine varietal from Wines of Sicily. It’s refreshing and light tasting and because it’s between 12.5 and 13 % alcohol, it’s among the lowest calorie wines! So cheers to that and the good folks in Sicily who’ve been enjoying this healthy taste of the Mediterranean for generations. 

Happy & Healthy New Year from Carolyn O’Neil’s

The Happy Healthy Kitchen: Good for People and the Planet!