The Natural Snack
by

Misty Oldham

To many people, especially children, the word snack implies thoughts of chocolate and sugar; however, in the early twentieth century, people relied on fruits to fulfill their desire for a between-meal snack. It was even a privilege to some children to receive an apple or a banana from their parents as an after-school snack. Unfortunately, children today prefer junk foods like candy bars. However, popular preference is not always the best way to go. Fruits, such as apples and grapes, are better snacks than candy bars because they are healthier, better tasting, and more satisfying.

Fruits are much healthier than candy bars. First of all, fruits have fewer calories and less fat than any candy bar. For example, a medium size apple has eighty calories and only one gram of fat. A regular size banana only has one hundred calories and no fat grams. Fruits also contain many of the essential vitamins and minerals that growing children need. Oranges provide an adequate day’s supply of vitamin C. In contrast, candy bars are far from being healthy. Besides being packed full of unneeded sugars and fats, candy bars have no significant nutritional value. One ounce of milk chocolate has one hundred and forty-five calories with a whopping nine fat grams!

In addition to being healthy, fruits are also better tasting. Fruits provide a light and fresh taste. Whenever one imagines a shiny, red, delicious apple, one also usually imagines the fresh, juicy taste of that first crisp bite. However, candy bars have a thick and heavy taste. Because candy bars are so rich with sugar, many children experience an awful stomachache after eating large amounts of chocolate. This stomachache is best seen after Halloween, the holiday during which children go door-to-door asking for candy and then return home with bag after bag of sugar candies and chocolate bars.

Moreover, fruits are more satisfying than candy bars. Fruits contain fructose, a monosaccharide that is easily broken down by the human body’s digestive system. Because of its easier digestive abilities, fructose is a much more efficient carbohydrate than sucrose, a disaccharide more commonly known as table sugar. Candy bars generally have extraneous amounts of table sugar, making them harder on the digestive system to break down into glucose. Because of this fact, one can eat less fruit than candy and still have more energy than if he or she had eaten chocolate bars.

In closing, fruit has proven to be the better snack choice. With fewer calories, less fat, and more efficient energy production, fruits surpass chocolate bars. Whenever one needs a snack between meals, fruits offer a fresh taste and vitamins and minerals. Fruits are definitely the better, natural choice!

Misty Oldham, at the time of this writing a freshman in the Early Childhood Education Program, wrote this essay for Dr. Marsha Mathew’s ENGL 1101 class during Fall semester 2001.