Just because a snack is packaged doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy. While vending machines are often stocked with processed, high-calorie junk food, the tide is turning toward the consumer trend of healthier eating on-the-go. These days, it’s easy to find healthier vending machine snack alternatives with options like nuts, dried fruits, whole grains and even gluten-free and keto-friendly options.
What makes a snack healthy?
- Nutritionally dense
- High in fiber
- Low in calories
- Whole grains
- No artificial additives
- Little to no added sugar
- No trans or saturated fats
- Low sodium
- Minimal ingredients
- Preservative free
Choosing healthiest snack foods
So how can you satisfy your hunger without wreaking havoc on your health (or your waistline) when you’re out and about? Skip the chips and bypass the Butterfingers in favor of the healthiest packaged snack foods you can find in your local vending machine. Look for:
- Energy bars
- Whole grain, baked or veggie chips
- Dried or squeezable fruits
- Dark chocolate
- Lack of preservatives and additives
- Clean ingredients
In 2021, the healthiest vending machine foods include plant-based or vegan snacks, high protein and whole foods. Plant-based diets are becoming more and more popular as people focus on healthier eating and clean ingredients, and high-protein foods can boost energy levels. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy carbs or the occasional treat. It just means making better choices. Here are 10 options to get you started on the road toward selecting healthier vending machine snacks.
10 Healthy Vending Machine Snack Foods
1. Savory Wild Vegan Portabella Mushroom Jerky. Perfect for vegans and vegetarians who crave meaty taste and texture, this mushroom jerky includes 10 grams of protein.
2. That’s It. These delicious, chewy fruit strips contain two real fruit servings––and that’s truly it. No preservatives, sugars or concentrates. Just 100% delicious.
3. Barnana Peanut Butter Dipped Banana Bites. Made from real bananas, these dried fruit bites pair perfectly with peanut butter for a delicious, sustainable, healthy vending snack.
4. Kodiak Cups. Available in a variety of flavors, just add water and microwave for a hearty, protein-packed breakfast or afternoon snack. Look for these in a Healthy YOU Vending SmartMart side vendor.
5. Biena Vegan Chickpea Puffs. Grain- and gluten-free puffs packed with six grams of plant-based protein, for a satisfying afternoon crunch.
6. EatSmart Veggie Crisps. Made with tomato, potato and spinach, these crunchy veggie chips contain just six grams of fat per serving.
7. LUNA Bars. Made with organic rolled oats and fruit, LUNA bars are protein-packed, gluten-free and taste-bud-friendly.
8. Oberto All-Natural Original Beef Jerky. For the meat eaters among us, this jerky features bold, smoked flavor and packs a tasty protein punch without added MSG.
9. Smartfood Delights White Cheddar Popcorn. Air-popped popcorn, real cheddar cheese, no artificial flavors or preservatives and just 35 calories per cup. Making smart choices is always in great taste.
10. Nature’s Bakery Double Chocolate Brownie. Sometimes there’s a craving that only chocolate will cure. These soft-baked, double-chocolate brownies are doubly delicious––and free of high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, soy, nuts and dairy.
Choose Healthy YOU Vending
Everyone loves to snack, and convenience is everything when it comes to making healthy snack choices. Peek inside your local Healthy YOU Vending machine for better-for-you packaged snacks to eat when you’re trying to be healthy. Learn more.