It’s 2 p.m. and your employees have a case of the munchies. What will they find when they wander over to the vending machine? Chances are good they’ll see row after row of candy bars. Four varieties of tortilla chips. Little powdered donuts. Plus, 10 different kinds of soda in colors that don’t appear in nature to wash it all down. All too often employees only have refined sugars and processed carbs to choose from when they visit a vending machine. A bag of chips or a candy bar once in a while isn’t so bad, but it’s so easy to make an afternoon treat a daily occurrence. And if there aren’t any healthy choices available, that can lead to a bad habit that’s hard to break.
How to promote healthy food habits
WorkPartners can work with your company to promote healthy food options for your employees through our Dining Smart initiative. This consultation service supports healthy dining, vending, and catering options for employees. We’ve found that employees make better choices when they’re well-informed about nutrition and have the opportunity to pick a healthy snack.
What makes a healthy vending machine? Stocking it with choices that have:
- No trans fat
- 220 calories or fewer
- No more than 35 percent of calories from fat
- No more than 100 mg of cholesterol
- No more than 400 mg of sodium
If an item meets three of the above criteria and offers at least 10 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, vitamin c, calcium, or fiber, it’s also considered a Dining Smart choice. If you think nothing with those nutritional requirements could also be delicious and snackable, think again!
Healthy vending machine choices could include:
- Peanuts, cashews, pistachios are packed with protein, healthy fats, and fiber
- Air-popped popcorn is low in calories and high in fiber
- Baked potato chips. Surprisingly fiber-full and lower in fat and calories than regular chips
- Granola bars. Can satisfy a sweet tooth with more fiber and fewer calories than a candy bar
Snacking can actually help people lose or maintain their weight, but only if they’re eating healthy foods. WorkPartners’ Dining Smart services can help you fill your vending machines with treats that not only satisfy the munchies, but also promote employee health.