December 30, 2023

As we gear up for 2024, it’s time to dive into the blend of time-honored traditions and exciting new trends that will shape our upcoming year. In a world that’s always on the move, the way we celebrate the end of one year and the start of another is constantly evolving.

One thing we’re gladly leaving behind in 2023 is restrictive diets. It’s time to embrace a more balanced and holistic approach to well-being, focusing on nourishing our bodies with a diverse range of foods rather than sticking to rigid dietary rules. We’ve realized that these restrictive diets often do more harm than good, promoting unsustainable and unhealthy habits. Instead, people are adopting intuitive eating, being more mindful of what they consume, and placing greater emphasis on the quality of their ingredients. It’s a refreshing shift toward sustainable and flexible wellness, where we understand that true health encompasses both body and soul. If you need some guidance on making this transition, Hy-Vee dietitians can help you make the switch while ensuring you’re nourishing your body appropriately.

Another trend that’s keeping its momentum into 2024: the rise of plant-based ingredients. With new research showing the health benefits of consuming more plants and a wide variety of plants in our diets in addition to sustainability of food production methods and crops, more and more consumers are turning to plant-based options. Whether it’s meatless burgers that taste just like the real deal or innovative dairy alternatives, these plant-based ingredients have moved from being niche to becoming mainstream staples in our kitchens and at restaurants. As we step into the new year, the plant-based movement is firmly rooted in our culinary and cultural landscape. As a Hy-Vee dietitian, I would be happy to help you navigate a plant-based approach when it comes to your diet in 2024!

There’s another exciting new trend we’re eager to embrace in 2024, and that’s allergy-friendly dining and heightened awareness of food allergies. It’s a trend that’s not limited to those with dietary restrictions; it symbolizes a more considerate and inclusive approach to food. Restaurants and food manufacturers are making a stronger commitment to providing safe and delicious options for individuals with allergies, sensitivities and dietary restrictions. And it goes beyond just gluten or nuts: It encompasses a wide range of allergens. By embracing these inclusive food practices, the industry sends a powerful message that everyone deserves the joy of a great meal, regardless of their dietary needs. You can already see this trend in action with Hy-Vee’s dietitian picks of the month, like General Mills gluten-free cereals and Sweet Loren’s cookie dough. Both companies are proud to offer many delicious gluten-free products.

If you’re on the hunt for unique and meaningful family traditions to add some extra sparkle to your New Year’s Eve this year, why not consider adopting the Twelve Grapes tradition from Spain? This charming custom involves eating one grape for each stroke of midnight, with each grape symbolizing good luck for each month of the coming year. It’s a delightful and interactive way to welcome the new year, and it’s suitable for all ages. So as the clock nears midnight on December 31, gather your loved ones, prepare a dozen grapes, and make a wish with each sweet bite. This tradition from across the sea can bring a touch of Spain’s warmth and festivity to your own New Year’s festivities, creating cherished memories and a unique connection to cultures around the world. For more grape-centric ideas for your New Year’s party, check out our Grape and Thyme Baked Brie, below. Cheers to 2024!

Grape and Thyme Baked Brie
Serves 6

All You Need:
1 (8-oz) pkg Brie
1/3 cup Hy-Vee walnut pieces
1 small cluster grapes
1 tbsp Hy-Vee avocado oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish, if desired
¼ tsp flaky sea salt
¼ tsp Hy-Vee black pepper
¼ cup salted caramel topping

All you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place Brie on prepared baking sheet. Top with walnuts and grapes. Drizzle with avocado oil. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon thyme, sea salt and black pepper. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until softened.
  3. Transfer cheese to a serving platter. Drizzle with salted caramel topping and garnish with additional thyme, if desired.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 270 calories, 23g total fat, 12g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 50mg cholesterol, 300mg sodium, 9g total carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 5g total sugar, 8g protein. Hy-Vee dietitians are eager to help you navigate your nutrition goals as we head into the New Year! If you’re ready to learn how a Hy-Vee dietitian can help you, schedule a complimentary Discovery Session today by contacting our Discovery Call Center via email or call (515) 695-3121. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.