Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fruit Snack Challenge

Growing up in Iowa the foods I remember most about summer are muskmellons, sweet corn, cucumbers(especially on cucumber sandwiches), and tomatoes from my dad's garden.  Now that I live in georgia I'm enjoying the absurd amounts of fruit that have come in to season all at once.  While getting groceries today Ryan and I ended up with a bag of florida pink grapefruit, 3 mangos, 4 peaches, and 1 cantaloupe in our cart.
cut up mango and 1/2 a cantaloupe

Earlier this year, while doing lots of reading and random research on the internet I decided to challenge myself to eat more fruits and vegetables.  If I have to tell patients and clients to eat more of them, I figured I should probably make sure that I'm eating my fair share too.  The biggest change I made was to bring cut up vegetables, fresh fruit, or fruit/yogurt parfait to work as snacks instead of granola bars.  I'd say I've been quite successful.  While this does take a little planning, it really does not take that much time or effort.  Lets compare:

Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bar: 190kcal, 6g fat, 160mg sodium, 12g added sugar, 2g fiber,          4g protein.  At $0.67 to $1 a bar that's 0.0035 cents/kcal, but very few vitamins and minerals.

1oz Plain Potato Chips: 153kcal, 10g fat, 147mg sodium, 1g fiber, 2g protein.  At $0.75 a bag that's 0.0049cents/kcal.  Again, not much in the way of vitamin's or minerals.

While I do not eat potato chips as a snack, I see a lot of people at work dining on them.  But it was interesting to notice that besides the amount of added sugar, the rest of the nutritional content was not that different.  Something to think about the next time you grab a cereal/granola bar instead of a potato chip bag.

1 cup of cubed cantaloupe: 54kcals, 0g fat, 26mg sodium, 1g fiber, 13g natural sugar, 1g protein, 108%DV for vitamin A, 98%DV for vitamin C, as well as a myriad of other vitamins and minerals.  At $2 a mellon that comes to approximately 0.0061cents/kcal since we got about 6 cups of mellon after cutting it up.

1 cup sliced mango: 107kcals, 0g fat, 3mg sodium, 3g fiber, 24g natural sugar, 1g protein, 25%DV vitamin A, 76%DV vitamin C, 9%DV vitamin E and K, 11% DV vitamin B6.  We purchased ours at 3 for $2, making this snack cost $0.0047cents/kcal

So as we can see... with a little extra thought and a few minutes, a healthy snack full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is just as affordable and convenient as opening a potato chip bag or granola bar.


  1. Love the picture of Ryan! I recall driving back from Atlanta a few years ago (went to the Society for Nutrition Education annual meeting) and stopping on David Pearson Drive (think it might have been near the South Carolina border) at a Peach Market. Scrumptious fruit! There was even a water tower in the shape of a peach.

  2. The first time I drove from WV to GA I noticed a lot of water-tower peaches, and just a lot of Giant peaches on poles by all the roadside produce stands. But there are no giant peach poles in Albany.

  3. I'm patiently waiting for the Muscatine melons here in Iowa!