Fruit becomes Tinker Airmen’s go-to snack

  • Published
  • By Kevan Goff-Parker

Airmen may find they’re tempted to grab a sugary treat from the abundance of candy bowls on Tinker desks, but some leaders in the 552nd Air Control Wing have discovered fruit is more rewarding.

552nd Air Control Network Squadron 1st Sgt. Jeffrey Hamann said he originally replaced his candy bowl with fresh fruit because he finds he often doesn’t have time to prepare meals, but a bowl full of apples, bananas and pears helps him get through his busy day.

“I noticed as people were coming in (the fruit bowl) was a conversation starter,” Hamann said. “It is good to break the ice by offering them fruit; it is something that helps them get their minds back on track if they’re having a stressful day.”

Since Hamann is responsible for the readiness, training and morale of his unit, which includes a total of 175 people, he believes eating fruit is a positive lifestyle change.

“There are some people who come in daily just to say ‘Hi’ and grab breakfast,” he said. “There is candy on the desks upstairs and most snack bars are evil. Eating fruit can be a healthier choice.

“It makes you feel good and everyone enjoys eating fruit.”

Nutrition Program Manager Wendi Knowles, a registered dietitian in Tinker Health Promotions with the 72nd Medical Group, is pleased by the 552nd Air Control Wing’s progress and hopes healthy choices like fruit continue to fill former candy bowls.

She said the Periodic Health Assessment Report taken by Airmen reflects that only 33.1 percent of Tinker Air Force Base Airmen get the amount of fruits and veggies per day recommended by United States Department of Agriculture. 

“By replacing the typical sweet snack with a healthy one, it makes the healthy choice the easy choice and allows our Airmen to increase their fruit and veggie consumption,” Knowles said.

“The USDA recommends making half your plate fruits and veggies, and focus on whole fruits and vary your veggies to increase your nutrient intake.”

She said Choosemyplate.gov is a great resource for information on fruits and vegetables and the many health benefits associated with these food groups.