Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, offers six tips for having healthier offerings in vending machines on the blog, A Healthier Michigan. The tips are:
Get rid of (or at least reduce) the high fat and high calorie options, like potato chips, cupcakes, donuts and candy bars.
Replace them with some healthier choices, such as high-fiber or high-protein cereal bars, baked chips, nuts, trail mix or dried fruit.
Have a refrigerated vending machine that carries fruits, vegetables, salads, low-fat or fat-free milk, or low-fat string cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt.
Price the healthier options cheaper than the candy bars and other unhealthy choices.
Keep the healthier options on top and at eye level, while the high fat foods sit at the bottom of the machine.
Offer plenty of zero-calorie beverage options like water and unsweetened iced tea. If you are going to have juice, try to make sure it is 100-percent juice.
For more information, go to: www.ahealthiermichigan.org.