Snacking healthy at work can be a challenge for many reasons. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to plan ahead and prepare healthy items in advance. Prepared vegetables, trail mix and other whole foods are great options. Small portions of home cooked leftovers make great alternatives when that craving starts to strike at work.
Many places of business offer snack vending machines as a work break snack option. It can be a bit more difficult to determine which items are healthier than others as the nutritional fact information is not always visible. Measure Up Marion has developed basic guidelines to help make healthier options more apparent. Look for a triangle graphic in the front panel of the vending machine. This Measure Up Marion information triangle is your indication that marked items meet Measure Up Marion‘s guidelines as healthier options.
Criteria for Vending Machines
30% or more beverages sold in beverage vending machines shall be:
- Water, Nonfat, or 1% low fat milk (including dairy or non-dairy milk, chocolate, or other flavored milk not containing more than 15 grams of added sugar per 250 gram serving or 3 teaspoons sugar per 1 cup milk)
- 100% fruit/vegetable juice Fruit-based drinks containing at least 50% juice and no added caloric sweeteners
- All other non-caloric beverages, including diet sodas
- Sports drinks less than or equal to 100 calories
- No greater than 12 ounces except for water, with a preference for juices in small size portions (6 ounces)
30% or more food sold in snack vending machines shall meet all the following criteria per individual serving:
- Not more than 200 calories per item as offered (per package).
- No more than 35% calories from fat (which would be no more than 7 grams of fat for a 200 calorie snack, for example) with the exception of packages that contain 100% nuts or seeds; snack mixes that contain components other than nuts and seeds must have no more than 35% of calories from fat; o No more than 10% calories from saturated fat (which would be no more than 2 grams of saturated fat for a 200 calorie snack, for example) with the exception of packages that contain 100% nuts or seeds; snack mixes that contain components other than nuts and seeds must have no more than 10% of calories from saturated fat
- 0 grams trans fat (hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils)
- No more than 35% of calories from total sugars and a maximum of no more than 10 grams of total sugars in the product, with the exception of fruits and vegetables that do not contain added sweeteners or fats; and with the exception of yogurt that contains no more than 30 grams of total sugars per 8-ounce container (and adjust proportionally for smaller containers)
- Sugarless chewing gum can be sold without having to meet the above nutrition standards.