6 Ways to Create Healthier Vending Machines For Employees

The good ole vending machine. We all use them and sometimes it is our friend, tying us over between meals. Other times it is a foe, filled with tempting snacks without any real nutritional benefit. This post was inspired by the fact that my employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, has recently made some healthy changes with our vending machines. That being said, there are a few things your workplace can do too:

  1. Get rid of (or at least reduce) the high fat and high calorie options, like potato chips, cupcakes, donuts and candy bars.
  2. Replace them with some healthier choices, such as high-fiber or high-protein cereal bars, baked chips, nuts, trail mix or dried fruit.
  3. Have a refrigerated vending machine that carries fruits, vegetables, salads, low-fat or fat-free milk, or low-fat string cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt.
  4. Price the healthier options cheaper than the candy bars and other unhealthy choices.
  5. Keep the healthier options on top and at eye level, while the high fat foods sit at the bottom of the machine.
  6. Offer plenty of zero-calorie beverage options like water and unsweetened iced tea. If you are going to have juice, try to make sure it is 100-percent juice.

Has your workplace done anything to make the vending machines healthier? Or are you building a culture of wellness at work in another way? I would love to hear from you.

Photo Credit: Gamma-Ray Productions

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