Food and pets figure in greatly in the top 10 trends for family and health in the United States, as predicted by Better Homes and Gardens magazine. If you are a small business owner, consultant, solo entrepreneur, author, home-based business or franchise owner, you may just find a promising new business opportunity among these trends — not to mention improving your health and well-being:

Grain of Truth

OK, it’s not exactly a low-carb diet, but whole grains are less fattening and more nutritious than refined white flour. Whole grains lower cravings for carbs — and keep the weight off — as a result.

Express Workouts

Express circuit workouts, like those offered at Curves, the fast-growing women’s gym chain, are hot. They combine strength training with fast-paced stations like jumping rope so you get a total-body workout that includes the cardiovascular exercise.

Pet Adoption

We all know that pets can be therapeutic, right? Pet adoption options are a growing trend. More people are choosing to adopt pets from shelters, meaning fewer healthy dogs and cats are being euthanized. Web sites like are making it easier for people to adopt pets and find rescue dogs.

Baby Name Trends

Biblical names and classic names continue to be popular for babies. For boys it is Michael, Joshua and Matthew. For girls it is Emma, Elizabeth and Hannah.

See the USA

Family vacations that involve staying close to home are very popular. Camping is the most popular outdoor activity. Small towns, beaches and historical sites are also hot.

Specialty Pet Food

Take a walk through the pet food aisle at the supermarket, and it’s likely to boggle your mind. There is pet food for overweight cats and aging dogs. In 2005 organic pet foods will grow in popularity as well as natural pet foods designed for pets with allergies.

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Crafting Goes High Tech

The Internet is now being used by crafters to trade embroidery designs. Sewing machines now have more computing power than the Apollo spacecraft! Computerized embroidery machines can create incredibly complex patterns. Who would have thought something as low tech as crafting would end up growing in popularity due to technology?

Wireless is All the Rage

Wireless networks are popping up in commercial spaces everywhere — coffee shops, restaurants and airports. Even city-wide wireless clouds are in the works.

Pharmaceutical Drugs Come Under Fire

It started when the widely-prescribed arthritis medicine Vioxx was taken off the market. Rumors that other FDA-approved drugs may be questioned are cause for concern.

Trans-Fats Under Fire

When hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, it stabilizes the shelf life — and clogs our arteries. Expect everything under the sun to be trans-fat free by 2006.

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