There are a plethora of snack foods available today in the United States. From potato chips to popcorn, to candy and cookies, it’s easy to assume that fruits and vegetables wouldn’t be regarded by Americans as a top snack choice. When compared to potato chips, for example, slicing an apple may seem to require more work than opening a bagged snack. In today’s hectic world, convenience and accessibility are often factors in determining what food choices people make. While it is easy to assume that fresh fruit might get lost in the shuffle of so many snack foods, one study has shown that this, in fact, is not the case. The NPD Group has found that fresh fruit is the top snack food choice among Americans.
How do we know this?
The NPD Group’s Snacking in America report found that not only is fresh fruit the top snack food in America, but it’s also the fastest-growing. Over a two-year period, NPD found that fruit was consumed as a snack at 10 more occasions a year than chocolate and 25 more than potato chips. Fruit snacking was seen among all ages with people 65 years of age and older consuming the most, followed by children under 12 years of age. Teens between the ages of 13 and 17 consumed the least amount. Reasons for the increase in fruit’s popularity seemed to be growing concerns about health and weight, as well as hunger satiety, convenience, habit and satisfying a craving. Fruit is also an acceptable food choice at all meals and snacks throughout the day, so they are included in more snack occasions than other snack foods.*
Fruit is a convenient, delicious, and nutritious snack food and there are many ways for you and your family to enjoy it throughout the day. Here are a few ideas …
Prep The Night Before. Slice strawberries, melon or your favorite fruit for the next day. Use the tasty slices as a cereal topping at breakfast or pack in your lunch for a mid-morning snack.
Quick Smoothies. Nothing makes a faster smoothie than one that includes frozen fruit or 100% fruit juice. Get an antioxidant boost by mixing ½ cup blueberries and 10-15 almonds (or your favorite nut) for a mid-morning pick me up!
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth. Skip the candy bar and enjoy a banana with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. It’s sure to satisfy!
Keep a Stash. Keep your favorite dried fruit or fruit cups in your desk drawer for an afternoon pick-me-up. Be sure canned and dried fruit are in your pantry for a quick meal side dish or to add flair to a salad.
Make It Easy! Fill a large bowl with seasonal fruit like apples, pears, clementines, peaches, plums, kiwifruit, mangoes or grapes. Leave the bowl on the kitchen counter or dinner table so your family can grab fresh fruit throughout the day.
Don’t be afraid to explore the wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are available. Check out our Fruit & Veggie Recipe Database for hundreds of ways to prepare delicious and healthy meals rich in fruits and vegetables.