Category Archives: Healthy Snack Vending Machines

Find Healthy Snacks in New York City School Lunchrooms

healthy snacks in new york city

Whether they are organic or not, healthy snacks need to be available to New York City students during the school day. Not only do healthy snacks provide much needed nutrition, but they also help students focus and be more productive. One California company is taking things into their own hands to help ensure that they have the necessary ingredients to make their healthy products.

CLIF Bar & Company, a snack bar manufacturer, has created the Clif Ag Fund. The purpose of the fund is to help organic farmers in Clif Bar’s supply chain become more resilient when faced with future economic challenges. 

For the Clif Ag Fund’s first investment, Clif Bar & Company explained that the fund “will help finance a $10 million program that could provide up to 80 organic farms with long-term energy cost savings from hosting on-farm wind turbines.” Since organic farmers already deal with thin margins, the long-term energy cost savings are very important.

Out to the Fields

Organic farming is hard. Converting land from traditional farming to organic farming is a multi-year process that requires a lot of trial and error while learning to manage soil quality without prohibited fertilizers and to prevent weeds and insects without herbicides and insecticides. While difficult, increasing the growing number of successful organic farms is crucial to the future of the organic food industry.

As of 2018, data provided by the Organic Trade Association showed that there was a 48 percent increase in total growth of organic sales since 2011. Unfortunately, during the same time period, there was only a 20 percent increase in organic farmland. If the number of successful organic farms doesn’t increase, it will be hard to sustain the growing demand for organic food.

healthy snacks in new york city

Back to the School Lunchroom

With Healthy Vending providing vending machines in schools, New York City parents don’t need to worry about how their students will find healthy snacks during the school day. All of Healthy Vending’s vending machines offer healthy and/or organic snacks and beverages that meet or exceed the minimum nutritional standards established by the USDA School Food Service Program. Proper nutrition is key to successful learning for both students and adults.

For more information about offering healthy vending machine options in your New York City schools or office break rooms, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to working with you to customize a healthy vending machine menu that all your students or employees can enjoy.

New York City, Enjoy a Healthy Snack Straight from Nature

healthy snack options in new york city

Blueberries are a delicious healthy snack that are often enjoyed by themselves or as an ingredient in something else. This time of year, blueberries can be found almost everywhere from farmer’s markets to pick-your-own farms to the grocery store. July is especially important for blueberry lovers; it’s National Blueberry Month!

Some blueberry related healthy snacks or mini meals that New York City employees might enjoy during their day include blueberry breakfast bars, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt or parfait, blueberry smoothies, a fruit salad with blueberries or a dark green salad with blueberries and nuts. Choosing to eat multiple mini meals or snacks during the day can help employees meet nutritional requirements, control blood sugar, and maintain metabolism. 

And that is true whether or not New York City employees choose to enjoy blueberries. It is important for everyone to consume enough fruit in their diet. According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, the recommended number of fruit servings per day depends on the individual, but the CDC “federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit.”   

Reading the ingredient list on the packaging of a healthy snack is a great way to see if that snack contains any fruit. If blueberries are a primary ingredient, they will be listed toward the front of the list as ingredients with the largest amounts are listed first followed by the others in descending order. The nutrition panel on the package is another place to find information about a snack. It lists the serving size, how many servings in the package, calories per serving and other nutrients.  

healthy snack options in new york city

For blueberries, 1 cup (148 grams) of fresh blueberries contains 84 calories, 0.3 g fat, 0.0 mg cholesterol, 1.0 mg sodium, 21.5 g total carbohydrates, 14.7 g sugar, 3.6 g fiber and 1.1 g protein. There is also 9 mg of calcium, 9 mg of magnesium, 0.4 mg of iron, 18 mg of phosphorus, 114 mg of potassium, 14.4 mg of vitamin c, 9 µg of folate, 80 IU of vitamin a, and 28.6 µg of vitamin k.

Learning about nutrients is important. Some – like saturated and trans fats, cholesterol and sodium – can be very unhealthy when consumed because they increase the risk of developing certain diseases. Healthy nutrients do the opposite; they can help reduce the risk of developing some diseases, and healthy employees are much better for New York City businesses.

Employers have the opportunity to contribute to the health and wellness of their employees by offering healthy snacks and beverages in their break room vending machines. Employees only need to take a quick trip to the break room instead of going off-site to find a healthy option. 

What healthy choices does your New York City break room offer? To learn more about healthy refreshment options, and how you can turn your break room into a great employee benefit, call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. 

Snacks Adapt to Meet New York City’s Consumers’ Needs

Healthy Snacks in New York City

The future of healthy snacks looks bright according to Fact.MR, a market research firm. Their recent report examined current and future scenarios of the snack market for the years between 2017 and 2022 and found promising data for the healthy snack sector. 

According to the report, changes in the definition of health and wellness have led New York City consumers to seek transparency when it comes to the ingredients in their favorite snacks. Unlike previous years when a brand name, by itself, could sell a snack, today’s consumers prioritize the quality of ingredients over brand names. In addition to organic ingredients, non-genetically modified organism (GMO), clean, low-sugar, gluten-free, and healthy ingredients are at the top of the most wanted ingredients list.

Two additional characteristics continue to influence consumer demand. These new snacks must have the ability to bridge the gap between nutritious and indulgent and offer ingredient lists that take regional or local taste preferences into account. 

Now that we know healthy snacks aren’t going anywhere, what can New York City employees and students expect to find in their break room and lunchroom vending machines? Both snack bars and sippable or ready-to-eat soups will likely make an appearance, if they haven’t already. 

Healthy Snacks in New York City

While snack bars will continue to be consumed as snacks, many will be used to replace a meal. Bars used as meal replacements will need to offer nutritious ingredients including a variety of healthy proteins. Healthy sippable soups can also function as a snack or a meal thanks to healthy ingredients, convenience, and versatility. 

Which healthy snacks do your New York City employees or students look for when they need a quick bite to eat? Do they have a favorite beverage? It’s important to understand which products they reach for first in order to be able to offer the most highly desired products. 

We would like to help your organization or school customize a healthy vending machine menu to meet your specific needs. For more information or to schedule a product sampling, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

Demand for Organic Snacks in New York City Grows

healthy snacks in new york city schools

It’s time for a new approach to choosing break room snacks and beverages. It’s time to seriously consider organic options for your New York City employees. According to Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, “Organics no longer appeal to a single segment or specialty audience, but are mainstream.” That’s right. Organic snacks and beverages are not a fad. 

While all age groups or generations are purchasing more organic products, Millennials continue to lead the pack. They spend an average of 13.8 percent more on organic products followed by GenX at 9.5 percent. But don’t discount GenX as a consumer group. Gen Xers take up 35 percent of the overall U.S. workforce.

The top selling organic categories include cow’s milk, pre-packaged salads, eggs and bars. Even though the majority of vending machines in the U.S. don’t sell cow’s milk or raw eggs, there are many different types of organic snacks that are made with them that are sold in vending machines.  

healthy snacks in new york city schools

Is it worth it?

For many New York City employees and students, deciding whether or not to spend the extra money for organic is a challenging decision. After years of research, many in the medical community say, “yes, it’s worth it.”  The following list examines why.

  • Nutrients: choosing organic can increase consumed antioxidants and reduce harmful toxic heavy metals
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: organically raised animals generally have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, an important fat for heart health
  • Pesticides: choosing organically grown produce helps reduce the amount of harmful pesticides that are consumed
  • Immune health: consuming organically grown and raised plants and animals helps avoid excess exposure to antibiotics and genetically-modified plants improving the immune system

What can we do?

One way New York City employers and school districts can help their employees or students is by offering great-tasting organic options via break room and lunchroom vending machines. This removes a key barrier – having to go offsite. It also helps provide healthy choices while everyone is out during the day. 

Are you interested in learning more? Healthy Vending can help. We offer a wide selection of snack and beverage products at a price equal to many unhealthy ones. We also work with school districts to ensure all items sold meet or exceed minimum nutritional standards. For more information or to schedule a product sampling, please contact us at 917.572.3671.

Mini Snacks in New York City Offer Great Taste and More

healthyy snacks in the new york city area

“With KIND® Minis, we aim to turn the industry’s approach to small portion single-serve snacks upside down.”     – Daniel Lubetzky, Founder & CEO of KIND

KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) is known for its variety of snacking options that can be enjoyed at any time of the day from breakfast to a late afternoon snack. The organization’s new product line, KIND Minis, fills a void left by empty-calorie, single-serve snacks that have been around since the introduction of the small portion snack category.

In line with other KIND products, KIND Minis have nutrient-dense ingredients that provide protein and fiber while using less refined carbohydrates such as flour, sugar or corn. The first ingredient in the bars is either almonds, peanuts or cashews. Lubetzky isn’t surprised that other food manufacturers use flours, sugar and corn more frequently because those ingredients are inexpensive compared to most nuts. For example, the cheaper ingredients, on average, are $2.16 per pound less expensive than the nuts.

But, there is also a not-so-obvious cost to New York City consumers that is connected to the lower-cost ingredients. Those ingredients are highly processed and can increase the risk of obesity, which is already a problem for the 39.6 percent of adults and 18.5 percent of children who are already considered obese. Unfortunately, obesity opens a door to a number of other serious health conditions including diabetes and hypertension.

healthy snacks in the new york city area

The increased risk associated with highly processed ingredients is a problem for many New York City employees and students as half of all eating occasions today are snacks, and 63 percent of individuals use snacks as a way to consume nutrients, but it doesn’t have to be. One part of the solution, where employers or schools can have an impact, is to offer better-for-you snacks and beverages to your employees or students in their workplace break room or school lunchroom. Being able to access healthier options on-site is one way to make choosing healthier easy.   

In addition to products like KIND Minis, better-for-you snacks in your New York City break room might include protein bars with lower amounts of sugar, baked chips made from ingredients such as sweet potato, brown rice or lentils, and dried or fresh fruit. Healthier beverages that promote hydration, another aspect of staying healthy, include flavored or plain mineral or traditional bottled water, unsweetened iced tea or coconut water. 

Does your New York City break room or school lunchroom provide your employees or students with opportunities to access healthy snacks and beverages on-site? Healthy Vending would like to help you offer your employees or students better-for-you snacking choices at prices that are similar to traditional products. To schedule a snack or beverage product sampling, please contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

New York City Employees Look for Their Next “Snack Meal”

healthy snack options in New York City

Even if you haven’t heard of the term “snack meal,” you’ve likely experienced it with the 86 percent of Americans who already have. A snack meal is a healthy snack eaten in place of a traditional meal, and more and more people are incorporating them into their diet. For example, according to a recent survey performed for Farm Rich, the average New York City employee consumes five snack meals each week and is likely to eat their snack meals instead of lunch.

Shannon Gilreath, Director of Marketing at Farm Rich, shared that “People are no longer feeling bound to the traditional three meals a day, which gives them more variety and time back to do the things they enjoy most, and for many, that doesn’t involve a ton of time in the kitchen, especially on busy days.”

Of the different generations of New York City employees, Millennials are the most likely to believe that “three standard meals a day is a thing of the past.” Unlike older generations who look at snacks as a way to curb cravings, Millennials use snacks as way to refuel without needing a lot of time to grocery shop, prepare a meal, and then sit down to eat it. Snack meals need to be easy and quick to prepare and portable.

Farm Rich’s survey found that the top healthy choices are cheese, crackers, fruit, chips, nuts, veggies, yogurt, and pretzels. The right combination of these healthy options will enable employees to create small meals that meet their own unique nutritional needs.

Snack options in New York City

One way New York City employers can help their employees meet their meal/snacking needs is to offer healthy snack meals (with beverages) in their break room vending machines. Access to healthy, onsite options will not only save time, but it also provides employees with the fuel they need to recharge, giving them the energy to have a productive day.

If you’d really like to give your New York City employees a boost, consider implementing one of the following vending solutions – their wallets will thank you.

Subsidized Vending: The prices of the items in the vending machine are lowered. At the end of each month, your company receives a bill for the difference.

Free Vending: All the products in your vending machines are free. Your company receives an invoice at the end of each month and pays the entire cost.

For more information about customizing the right healthy vending machine menu for your employees, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

Healthy Tips for New York City’s Hearts

healthy break room options in New York CityGive yourself the gift of a healthy heart this holiday season and celebrate with some delicious dark chocolate — yes, dark chocolate.

We know that diet plays an important role in one’s overall health including the health of the heart. New research has confirmed, yet again, that dark chocolate can be part of a New York City individual’s healthy diet. Study participants who enjoyed chocolate bars three times per month reduced their risk of heart failure by 13 percent when compared to those who ate no chocolate.  

Let’s celebrate!

But don’t go overboard. The same study found that participants who ate chocolate everyday appeared to increase their risk for heart failure by 17 percent. Yikes!

Dr Chayakrit Krittanawong, lead researcher of the study, said, “I believe that chocolate is an important dietary source of flavonoids which are associated with reducing inflammation and increasing good cholesterol…However, chocolate may have high levels of saturated fats. I would say moderate dark chocolate consumption is good for health.”

Chocolate is made from different combinations of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, cocoa bean powder, sugar, and milk powder. For dark chocolate, the first ingredient should be cocoa or chocolate liquor followed by any combination of cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, and cocoa butter. Sugar, a necessary ingredient, is then used to balance the bitter taste of the chocolate. For healthier dark chocolate, sugar should be listed toward the end of the ingredients’ list and always after the cocoa. Cocoa is beneficial for the heart while sugar and any unnecessary fats are damaging.

healthy break room options in New York CityHigh quality cocoa, which is found in some dark chocolate, contains flavonoids (flavanols, flavonols (source of the antioxidant qualities), epicatechin and procyanidins) and polyphenols. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, improve cognitive function, fight inflammation and oxidative stress — improving blood flow, boost blood vessel health, and improve overall cardiovascular health.

Other ways to help keep your heart healthy include

  • maintain a healthy weight
  • eat more fruits and vegetables
  • select whole grains
  • limit unhealthy fats
  • reduce the amount of sodium in your food

Maintaining a healthy diet during the holiday season isn’t always the easiest for New York City employees or students. Between work or school, social gatherings, and errands, finding a healthy snack or beverage can be challenging. One way to help them is to provide healthy snack vending machines in visible locations such as the break room or school lunchroom. Our healthy snack vending machines offer

  • controlled portion sizes (weight impacts your heart’s health),
  • the ability to see the ingredient list and nutrition information for each product and to determine the type and amount of grains, fats, sodium,
  • the occasional treat such as dark chocolate, and
  • a healthy option when away from home; whether the stop at the vending machine is planned or not.

Do you have a plan to help your New York City employees or students stay healthy this holiday season and through the new year? We’d like to help you customize a solution that meets your and their needs. For more information, please contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to hearing from you.

Trends and the Snacks New York City Employees Eat

Healthy snacks in New York CityDo you have any favorite snacks that you loved as a child but no longer eat? If you do, it wouldn’t be a surprise as many New York City employees no longer eat the same foods that they did as children. Besides changing palettes, changing food trends also influence which snacks people eat during their lifetime. In 2018, there were several trends including botanicals, transparency, sustainability, and indulgence foods that caused the preferred list of snacks to evolve yet again.

Botanicals

Edible plants and flowers with a variety of health related benefits are making an appearance in snacks and beverages in the United States. Some of the more recognized ones include ashwagandha (Indian ginseng), ginger, lavender, curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric), carob bean pods, chamomile blossoms, chia seeds, flax seeds, hibiscus, elderberry, and passionflower. To make it easier for consumers to use these botanicals when they aren’t already a listed ingredient, several companies have prepared and prepackaged them for individual use.

Transparency

New York City consumers also want to know more about what they eat and drink. It’s no longer enough to learn just the ingredients or how many calories are in something. In addition to information about the packaging, the number and type of artificial ingredients, and sustainable production, consumers want to know where their food came from and how it was handled along the way. Being able to know as much as is possible about a specific product helps potential consumers to feel a personal connection to their food.

Healthy snacks in New York CitySustainability

In regards to snacks and beverages, sustainability has expanded to include more than farming practices or land management. Today, it includes creating as little food waste as possible by using all of an ingredient. For example, if a watermelon is used as an ingredient, the rind and seeds are no longer thrown away. Instead, they are used to create new and interesting snacks and beverages. This process goes a long way to decrease unnecessary food waste.

Indulgence Foods

The category of indulgence foods includes exactly the type of snacks and beverages that it sounds like. High-quality, organic dark chocolate is a great example. When compared to a very inexpensive, highly-sweetened milk chocolate, consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Zs, will choose the high-quality dark chocolate. Reducing the amount of sugar consumed and choosing non-GMO, organic, and clean-label products are more important than decreasing the amount of fat or calories consumed.

Have you considered the impact that these trends have had on your New York City employees’ break room snack and beverage choices. If not, it’s time to let the healthy vending machine experts help you make sure that their preferences match their break room vending machine options. For more information about making the change, call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to hearing from you.

New York City, Avoid This Ingredient in Your Snacks

Healthy Snacks in New York City

Removing trans fats from America’s snacks is one way to protect New York City employees’ and students’ health. Trans fats come from two types of sources — natural sources or industrially-produced sources (partially hydrogenated oils) — and are very unhealthy. Trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein or LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowers high-density lipoprotein or HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Consuming large amounts of trans fat also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

To help combat the negative effect of trans fats, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed REPLACE, a six-step strategic guide to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply. The guide includes:

  • REview dietary sources of industrially-produced trans fats and the landscape for required policy change.
  • Promote the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils.  
  • Legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially-produced trans fats.
  • Assess and monitor trans fats content in the food supply and changes in trans fat consumption in the population.
  • Create awareness of the negative health impact of trans fats among policy makers, producers, suppliers, and the public.
  • Enforce compliance of policies and regulations.

The removal of trans fats from food products has already been shown to have dramatic effects. Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases explained, “Banning trans fats in New York City helped reduce the number of heart attacks without changing the taste or cost of food, and eliminating their use around the world can save millions of lives.” On a more individual note, the WHO suggests “that the total trans fat intake [for an individual] be limited to less than 1% of total energy intake.”

Healthy Snacks in New York City

To understand what a New York City employee or student should look for on nutrition labels of their favorite snacks, it’s important to know more about industrially-produced trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. A partially hydrogenated oil occurs when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil making the oil solid at room temperature. Margarine is a great example of this. Other types of snacks that are frequently made with partially hydrogenated oils include potato, corn, and tortilla chips, crackers, cookies, microwavable popcorn, and cream filled candies.

The following are a couple tips that can help New York City employees and students determine if a particular item has trans fats.

  1. If an item can last in the pantry for weeks without going stale, it is most likely made with trans fats.
  2. If the nutritional label lists 0 grams trans fat, read the ingredient list to see if there is any partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. A loophole in the U.S. allows manufacturers to write 0 grams trans fat if the food has less than 0.5 grams trans fat in a single serving.
  3. Choose monounsaturated fats — the healthier fat — such as olive, peanut and canola oils.

Another way to help your New York City employees and students eat fewer trans fats is to offer only healthy snacks and beverages in the break room or lunchroom vending machine. Offering healthy options makes it just a bit easier to make a healthy choice. For more information about adding healthy snacks and beverages to your office break room or school lunchroom, call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We are 100% dedicated to providing healthy snacks and beverages to New York City.

New York City, Have You Tried the New Better-for-You Snacks?

Healthy Sweet Snacks in New York City

If New York City employees look closely, they will see that there are new better-for-you chocolate snacks to be enjoyed. This is good news for employees that enjoy chocolate but stay away because of chocolate’s nutritional value. Researchers and analysts have found that consumers prefer better-for-you (BFY) products and are frequently moving away from traditional sweet treats. The chocolate industry has responded by developing a variety of new chocolate snacks such as fruit covered in dark chocolate.

Other new chocolate BFY snacks include chocolate combined with different ingredients to make new textures, chocolate paired with herbs and spices, dark chocolate and sea salt, nuts covered in dark chocolate, chocolate in protein bars, poppable truffle bites made with dark chocolate, chocolate and nut butter dips, chocolate bark with a variety of other ingredients, pulse brownie bites made with chickpea flour, and sweet potato brownies. With so many choices, there is a chocolate snack for almost everyone.

For those New York City employees who don’t like chocolate, there are a lot of new non-chocolate BFY options available.

Fruity Flavors: Naturally sweetened sweet or sour gummy bears are a fun low-calorie treat made with stevia. Fruit is also a commonly used ingredient to make naturally sweetened treats such as fruit chews and fruit leather.

Brittle: A syrup-based sweet treat, BFY brittle can be naturally sweetened with maple syrup, honey, or coconut nectar.  

Other Candy: Hard candy, mints, and lollipops are made from a variety of natural and sometimes organic sweeteners including brown rice syrup, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice,  honey, and maple syrup.

Healthy Sweet Snacks in New York City

Whether New York City employees enjoy something with chocolate or something without chocolate, there are three themes that run through all of the types of sweet treats.

  1. Better-for-you sweet snacks are made with new ingredients and a different type of ingredient. Sweet potatoes, chia seeds, nut flours, chickpea flour, and coconut flour and sugar are rarely found in traditional sweet snacks, but they are frequently used in BFY sweet snacks.
  2. The second theme is that the types of ingredients have changed. Consumers also expect to see organic, non-GMO, minimally processed ingredients.
  3. The amount and type of sugar is the third theme New York City consumers expect to see. Regular sugar is no longer an acceptable ingredient. Today’s sweet snacks are made with either sweeteners that are low in calories and fructose and are very sweet such as stevia, xyliton, or yacon; or natural sugar based sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup.    

Which better-for-you sweet snacks do your employees wish they could find in the break room? Healthy Vending can help create a customized list of snacks and beverages that are both better-for-you and a tasty sweet treat. For an even sweeter treat, offer vending machine snacks and beverages for a lower or zero cost. Call us at 917.572.3671 for more information.