Here's to Healthy Snacking

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 09:49 AM EST

Only 1 percent of adults and 2 percent of kids meet the daily recommendations for both fruits and veggies, according to a study by the Produce for Better Health Foundation. Having these foods readily available and making sure they’re delicious is the easiest way to eat more of them.

Replacing starchy, sugary snacks with fresh fruit is a simple way to start, but it presents some challenges if you work away from home. Taking fruit to the office can be a bit cumbersome; most vending machines are fruit free; and in convenience stores, “fresh” fare isn’t always the tastiest. Office fruit delivery is an alternative solution.

Meet The FruitGuys

The FruitGuys — that’s not a typo — is a company that delivers fresh fruit to offices near most major cities in the country. And some of the reactions are remarkable.

In one company that was running a lose-weight, get-healthy campaign, employees considered office fruit delivery to be one of the key factors that helped the group lose a total of about 500 pounds. The FruitGuys also offer take-home briefcase-style boxes of fruits and/or vegetables, and home delivery.

Most often, says company founder and CEO Chris Mittelstaedt, employers want to create a healthier environment and switch from less wholesome company treats, such as pizza or soda, to fresh fruit. And because it’s always delicious, employees are delighted.

Mittelstaedt started his business during the dot-com boom in Silicon Valley, where start-up staffers worked long hours, lived on junk food, and found that gaining “the first-job 30” was worse than their previous “freshman 15.” Since them, his delivery service has spread far and wide.

Aside from being a savvy business owner, Mittelstaedt has a mission to foster better health. “If I can get someone to pick up an orange instead of a snack cake, that’s the first step,” he says. “If you can get into the habit, over time, you’ll get healthier.”

Be Your Own Fruit Guy

Snacking is largely driven by taste, and FruitGuys produce is guaranteed: If you don’t like it, they’ll replace it. You can use a similar strategy to boost your own fruit and veggie consumption.

Buy produce from local farmers and choose what’s in season whenever possible. Farmers’ markets aren’t the only place to do this, as even supermarkets are striving to carry more local produce, especially if you — as their customer — request it.

For anything that’s eaten raw, never be shy to ask for a taste in the store, and aim to give yourself and your family a produce taste guarantee. When a simple orange or apple bursts with delicious flavor, it’s not that difficult to keep unhealthy snacks where they do you most good — sitting on the store shelf.

The Produce for Better Health Foundation offers lots of ideas for different ways to enjoy fruits and veggies at its website.

© HealthDay

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 09:49 AM
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