Last week, MRH launched a new vending machine program aimed at providing healthier choices for not only our employees but for patient families. While the traditional vending machine fare is candy, pop, and chips, the tide is turning in many companies and hospitals. According to the Snack Food Association (yes, there is a Snack Food Association--who knew?), 74% of customers are trying to eat healthier, and the growth of healthier vending foods is outpacing those traditional goodies by 4 to 1. Multiple studies have reported significant growth in an organization's vending profits, just by offering healthier choices.
What should you be looking for when you get the munchies? According to the Ohio Hospital Association, try to keep snack items:
under 200 calories (keep in mind this is for one serving, many snack items are two or more servings!)
zero grams trans fat
less than 230 mg sodium
sugar less than 10 grams
and at least 2 grams of fiber if the item is grain based, like a granola bar.
Here are some ideas for healthy vending choices, many of which are available in our new machines!
Baked! Lays Originals
Sun Chips Original (high in whole grains)
Fiber One Bars
Pure Protein Bars
Nature Valley Granola Bars
Sugar free/unsweetened beverages/flavored water
Get the facts BEFORE you buy. Our new vending machines, from Mark Mackey at Marks Vending (contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org) also feature a cool digital nutrition facts panel that you can look at before you purchase the item.