Dining out has been known to sabotage many waistlines, so I was more than happy to discover that several of the predicted restaurant trends for 2009 may help us control our calorie intake while eating out. The American Culinary Federation surveyed 1,600 chefs for their take on what we'll see more of on menus this year, and some of the hottest trends are focused on nutrition and health. Here are some of the healthful themes I'm excited to see develop and expand in 2009.
- Healthy kids' meals: We should see more nutritionally balanced children's dishes and side items.
- Organic and locally grown produce: The focus on environmentally friendly fruit and vegetables were among the top 20 trendy items.
- Bite-sized desserts: Built-in portion control is appealing, particularly for indulgent sweets.
- Small plates: It's tough not to overeat when the portion sizes are big, so hopefully the continuation of the small plates trend will help us eat reasonable amounts when we're out.
- Sustainable seafood: Animal welfare and environmental concerns have created a greater demand for sustainable fish.