Good-bye, deep fried chips. See ya, soda. As kids head back to school, vending machines will be stocked differently than they have been in the past. And given that some students consume up to two-thirds of their daily food intake at school, that’s a good thing!
The “Smart Snacks in Schools” standards took effect last July as part of the federal government’s efforts to help improve student health and nutrition. These new standards ensure that most snacks, drinks and meals sold in schools will contain more of the good stuff (whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and proteins) and less of the foods we should avoid, such as fat, sugar and sodium. This makes it an ideal opportunity to put more healthy vending machines in schools.
“Good nutrition lays the groundwork for good health and academic success,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He believes that providing healthy options in vending machines in schools and cafeterias helps make choosing healthy snacks an easy choice for kids.
Smart Snacks in Schools complements the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which required the USDA to establish nutrition standards sold in schools. Snack foods sold in schools are now required to have:
• less than 200 calories
• less than 35% saturated fat
• 0 grams of trans fat
• nutritional value instead of “empty calories”
As you get ready to stock your healthy vending machines located in schools, consider these best-selling healthy snacks that have great kid appeal AND adhere to the new nutrition standards:
- Bare Snacks Simply Toasted Coconut Chips: Get instant crunch gratification in the palm of your hand with these non-GMO coconut chips. They’re a good source of dietary fiber, too.
- Pirate’s Booty Veggie Booty: These gluten-free rice and corn puffs manage to sneak in a medley of vegetables, too.
- Late July Organic Snacks Mini Peanut Butter Crackers: These organic peanut butter mini crackers are free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, trans fats and are produced without synthetic pesticides.
- Annie’s Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies: Baked with organic wheat flour and real aged cheddar, these wholesome crackers are tasty, too.
- Annie’s Homegrown Berry Patch Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks: A delicious mix of berry flavors to satisfy the sweet tooth. Mmde with real fruit juice and 100% daily recommended value of Vitamin C, these organic fruit snacks are also vegan and gluten-free.
- Clif Kid ZBar: An organic baked whole grain snack made with a nutritious blend of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat to keep kids’ energy levels up.
- Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies: Premium ingredients create a simply delicious cookie to satisfy a sweet tooth in a better way.
- Pop chips: Satisfies the crunch craving with all the flavor and half the fat of fried potato chips.
- Izze Sparkling Beverage: This blend of 70% pure fruit juice and a splash of sparkling water has just the right amount of fizz to tickle your taste buds in a variety of flavors.
- ZICO© Premium Coconut Water: Hydrates with five electrolytes, including as much potassium as a banana, leaving you replenished and ready to take on the day.
As nutrition standards improve, so do the benefits: better health, more energy, improved focus. Another benefit? Healthy vending machine snacks teach students a life lesson that healthy snacks can taste good!
Find out how you can get a HealthyYOU Vending machine at your school, at no cost!