I was recently told to “keep those veggie bags coming…. I love them…. and it is much healthier than a bag of chips.” So, I keep making them and keep stocking the refrigerator to keep my family happier, and would much rather have them grab a bag of veggies than a bag of potato chips.

As I thought about it, I realized that this would be a great real-life math problem. Especially for GED students learning about math. What a great example to discuss comparison and percent using critical thinking skills.

Let’s explore this situation and see what the results are. Is this something you would try in your classroom?

When I researched the calorie and nutritional value of raw carrots, I learned that 1 cup of carrots is about 50 calories. Besides being low in calories, it is HIGH in nutrients. For a complete list, check out whfoods. I was especially surprised that 1 cup contains 113 % of our needed vitamin A. And let’s not forget the fiber, 3.1 grams per cup.

When I researched raw cucumbers, I learned that 1 cup of raw cut up cucumbers has only 16 calories as well as .83 gram of fiber per cup and a lot of nutrients, the highest being 19% of vitamin K. For a compete list, check out whfoods.

If you like to dip your veggies in Ranch dressing (like we do), you will need to add 70 calories per tablespoon. Delicious… but not very nutritious.

For each veggie bag, I figured there was about 1/2 cup carrots and 2/3 cup cucumbers as well as a container with 2 tablespoons Ranch dressing. So that would be carrots (25 calories), cucumbers (about 5 calories), and Ranch dressing (140 calories) for a total of 175 calories packed with a good amount of nutrients.

Potato chips on the other hand have a 150 calories for 15 chips. Who eats 15 chips? Not me. you may as well double the amount. That would be 300 calories with a whopping 32% daily fat and only 10% fiber (1 gram). I was surprised that the chips I chose contained 20% vitamin C (10% per serving)

*A veggie bag at 175 calories versus a bag with chips (two servings because who just eats one) at 300 calories. If the dressing is left out, the veggie bag would only be 30 calories!!

*Carrots are HIGH in nutrients and fiber.

**What math problems might one do with this information?**

*Difference in calories

*Order carrots, cucumbers, and chips based on fiber, fat, calories, etc.

*Change fractions to decimals

*Percentage of difference

*Check out links and look at nutrients and the difference in foods

*What if a different salad dressing were used? How much of a difference would that make?