Eating healthy at the workplace can be a bit of a challenge. For workplaces that only provide a vending machine, it becomes even more of a challenge. Most vending machines are full of high fat, high sugar foods. However, with a little initiative, you can make a healthier vending machine available to your employees!
- Since you have decided to make changes to your vending machine, first decide how many items you are going to change. For most workplaces, it is not realistic to change all items to healthy ones. Begin slowly and build from success.
- Identify the person in your organization who handles vending contracts and oversees cafeteria operations. It is important to get this person on board with the worksite wellness program to improve healthy options in vending machines.
- Survey staff to see which options they would like to see added to the vending machines. This will help ensure that options added will be purchased as well as giving ownership to the employees, so they feel like they are part of the decision making process.
- Meet with the vending machine contract person and explain why you want to implement healthier choices in the vending machine. Some examples may include improved employee overall health and possibly increasing vending machine usage by employees who do not use it currently. Providing healthy options may encourage some employees to start purchasing these healthy options.
- Promote the healthy choices and advertise your success. Place incentive stickers on low-fat, low calorie, or low sodium items in vending machines or place posters near the vending machines advertising the healthier choices.