Vending machines aren’t going to offer you the healthiest options in the world. It’s best to accept that. But there’re some vending machine choices that’re better than others. I hope this offers you some guidance on some of the best snacks to choose when your options are limited to a vending machine.
1. Baked Chips
Baked chips aren’t the same as a salad but they’re not completely horrible. They beat the alternative. They have less fat and sometimes even have low sodium. It takes a bit of adjusting for your taste buds to get used to them. But you may find that you even come to prefer them.
2. Sunflower Kernels
I love sunflower kernels, plain or as a salad topping. If you’re in a pinch and need to grab a vending machine snack until you can eat something more substantial then this’s one of your better choices. They’re a decent source of protein as well as having some calcium and iron in them. You could certainly do worse than grabbing a bag of these. They’re even great to keep stashed in your desk for a snack when you’re having a busy day at work.
3. Candy Bars with Nuts
While a candy bar will never be a good substitute for a meal, some are better than others. If I have to grab a candy bar to get me through until I can eat something nutritious then I try to choose one with nuts. Nuts have protein which will give you strength and energy. Peanut m&ms, Payday, and even Reese's Peanut Butter Cups will work. These’re some choices you don’t have to feel too guilty about. 😀
If you’re in the mood for a crunch when choosing from a vending machine then popcorn is a good choice. It’s loaded with fiber and naturally low fat, unless it’s had a lot of fattening seasonings added to it. It’s a food item that’s filling, at least for awhile. It’s also something that you can munch on for awhile if you want the satisfaction of hand to mouth action. Popcorn is something that’s universally loved so you’re hopefully you can find a brand you like.
5. Trail Mix
Trail mix is a snack that’s made of dried fruits, nuts and sometimes pieces of candy. It’s an option that’s good for your body with a bit of a guilty pleasure added in, too. In fact, knowing that there’re m&ms or chocolate chips can make the snack worth eating, even if you’re not a fan of fruit or nuts. It’s a good compromise. It’s a little bit junk food and a little bit nutritious.
6. Granola Bars
Not all granola bars are created equal. Some are certainly better than others. Look for granola bars tha’re low fat and have some vitamins and minerals in them. Quaker makes a granola bar that meets those qualifications. Kashi does too, and they’re some of my favorite granola bars ever.
7. Protein Bars
Protein bars can be good or bad. If they’re loaded with sugar then they’re on about the same level as a candy bar with nuts. And I don’t know about you but if I have to choose between a candy bar with nuts and a protein bar then I’m going to go for the true candy every time. Thankfully, there’re some brands that offer you a shot of protein without all the sugary carbs. My favorite bar to enjoy is Kind Bars. I not only choose them out of a vending machine but keep them in my cabinet at home.
These are some of the better choices you can find in a vending machine. What do you usually go for when you’re in this spot? Share your suggestions!