It seems like everyone’s talking about making a conscious decision to eat healthier these days – but when you’re faced with a working lunch and hunger pangs, sometimes you can’t help but just reach for whatever’s closest. When what’s closest is your office vending machine, you could be left with a lunch consisting of Pop-Tarts, a bag of Chee-Tos, and a can of soda. Delicious? Undoubtably, Healthy? Debatable. But a new breed of vending machine has been hitting the scene in schools and offices across the country, and it’s making a splash: the healthy vending machine.
Reports are cropping up all over of vending machines from companies like H.U.M.A.N. Healthy Vending and Fresh Healthy Vending making their way into office buildings, schools, and a variety of other businesses all over the United States. These vending machines differentiate themselves from the standard crowd by offering low-calorie health-conscious fare like yogurt snacks, protein bars, fruit and baked potato chips, and beverages like flavored mineral water and natural iced tea.
Overall, the new vending machines are finding an enthusiastic audience – especially in schools, where many states are starting to place bans on high calorie junk food seen as partly responsible for the childhood obesity epidemic. But it’s not just school administration getting behind the machines. Students are also appreciating the benefits of healthier options. “A school in Massachusetts found that student athletes appreciated the healthy snacks and said they increased their energy and performance,” reports the NY Daily News.
The vending machine option of a pre-packaged banana (a bit redundant) has gained some ridicule, but you can’t win them all. All told, these vending machines are a great step in the right direction toward providing better options where you need them most.