It’s mid-afternoon in the office and you realize that maybe you shouldn’t have stayed up so late last night binge-watching the latest season of “House of Cards.” Your stomach is also telling you that hitting the snooze three times and skipping breakfast this morning wasn’t the best idea. You could grab a piece of candy from the dish at your coworker’s desk, but you want to make a healthy choice—if only it were easy.
That’s where Healthy IU comes in.
As part of our efforts to make the healthy choice the easy choice, we are currently working toward increasing the number of healthy vending machine options on campus. We want to make sure that when you do get that mid-afternoon snack craving, you have some healthy options to choose from instead of grabbing a Snickers bar.
In case you aren’t familiar with Healthy IU, we are the university’s employee wellness program. We offer many programs and services to IU employees relating to all aspects of wellness, including nutrition, physical activity, stress management and more. Make sure you check find us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on our latest offerings.
As a registered dietitian, my work with Healthy IU is focused on helping IU employees make healthier food choices. That includes things like one-on-one nutrition counseling and lunch break nutrition presentations, in addition to working toward making healthier food options available on campus.
In the fall (2014), we offered faculty, staff and students the chance to sample healthier vending options at our Taste & Tell event. Based on your feedback, we now offer a number of healthier options in 11 machines on campus.
Pilot locations for healthier vending options:
- Jordan Hall
- Ballantine Hall
- Maxwell Hall
- Kelley School of Business
- Health Center
- Wells Library Café
- School of Public Health
- Indiana Memorial Union
- Poplars Building
- Department of Chemistry
- Bryan Hall
These 11 pilot locations will allow us to finely tune the offerings to ensure the new options are selling well.
Once we establish the right mix of healthier items, we plan to roll out the new options at all locations on campus.
Here’s a sampling of the new items offered in the pilot vending machines:
- Kind bars
- Luna bars
- Scholar’s Inn granola bars
- Belvita breakfast biscuits
- Kashi bars
- Kashi hummus chips
- Nature Valley bars
- Fiber One bars
- Trail mix
In addition to the new items, the pilot vending machines also feature a splash of color. Each item in the machines is color-coded with a traffic light system: green for the healthiest choice, yellow for in-between or red for the least healthful option. The traffic light nutrition criteria are based on the American Heart Association’s Healthy Workplace guidelines.
Remember, the healthier vending options that we roll out campus-wide will be influenced by the sales of the items in the pilot machines. You can vote with your snack dollars by purchasing more of the healthier options you enjoy. That will help to ensure your favorite healthier snacks are available at a vending machine near you the next time a mid-afternoon craving tempts you.