Vending machines are everywhere. You can find them almost everywhere including corporate environment and schools. Most of the vending machines are selling foods. For kids, vending machines for snacks are very popular.
However, are the foods in vending machines healthy? Well, while there are vending machines with healthy foods, most of the vending machines are selling unhealthy snack choices.
The good news…well, somewhat… researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago finds that putting a delay in vending machines lead to healthier snack choices.
Experts in preventive medicine developed a new breed of vending machines in order to test this out. The researchers are testing out whether implementing a 25-second delay on snacks that are less healthy would lead the customer to change his or her mind and choose a healthy item, instead.
A screen displays the delay countdown
Criteria For Healthy Snacks
Here are the specific criteria the researchers put for healthy snacks. In order for the snack item to fall within the range of healthy choices, it should meet the following criteria.
- A snack should contain less than 250 calories/serving
- Contian 35% or less calories coming from fat
- Should contain less than 350 mg of sodium/serving
- No trans fats
- Saturated fat should less than 5% percent of daily value per serving
- Includes over 1 gram of dietary fiber/serving
- Added sugar should be less than 10 grams/serving
In the criteria above, it’s good to know that researchers are putting emphasis on minimizing added sugar. Another important rule is the zero trans fats. Trans fats have been banned by the FDA but not until 2018.
However, it’s good to know that food distribution like vending machines is starting to put it in action.
Better Ways For Healthy Snacks
Clean eating should be introduced to children starting at a young age and it should begin at home. Parents should play a role model for their children and encourage them to eat more fruit and vegetables.
This is the authentic healthy choice. Eating whole foods (preferably organic) is beneficial to gut health. Therefore, parents should practice healthy habits for their children to follow.
When it comes to snacks, preparing healthy recipes at home is more preferable and a lot healthier than foods in the vending machines. So, make the right choice by choosing and training children to eat healthy at home.
Once children are accustomed to eating healthy, this becomes a habit and it will stick to their mind wherever they are. Regardless of the many unhealthy foods surrounding them, they know exactly what to do and only choose healthy foods.
In the end, healthy food choices should begin at home. Parents should keep this mind that it is their responsibility to teach their children healthy habits. Although schools are helpful in terms of educating children, if you prioritize health, choose healthy choices at home.
The more often children see their parents with healthy lifestyle practices, they will mimic what their parents do.