Taming The Vending Machine

healthy eating1In a perfect world, we would never leave home with a healthy snack.

In the real world, we find ourselves hungry at work at 3:00 p.m. when our only choice is the vending machine.

You can, however, make healthy—or healthier—choices at the vending machine. Here’s how.

  • Try having a drink of water, and a bit of a stroll before you get something to eat. Sometimes we only think we are hungry because we are thirsty or bored.
  • Look for healthy snacks. You can sometimes get healthy foods, like apples, bananas, and yogurt, in vending machines. Avoid juice products, however, because they contain no fiber, and often very little actual fruit juice and lots of sugar and water.
  • Look for snacks with protein. A small bag of nuts, such as peanuts or almonds, will provide protein and a little fat, which may keep you full longer. Avoid honey roasted or flavored nuts which often contain unnecessary sugars and starches. Whole wheat crackers with peanut butter are also an acceptable option, even though they are high in fat and calories.
  • Look for snacks that are lower in fat. Choose plain pretzels over flavored pretzels and potato or corn chips. An individual sized serving of low sugar breakfast cereal with low fat milk is another good choice [low fat diet].
  • Look for snacks that are baked rather than fried. If plain pretzels are not an option, baked potato chips are better than regular potato chips.
  • Avoid sugary beverages, which includes sports drinks and most endurance drinks.