Choosing a healthier snack from a campus vending machine just became a lot easier for University of Houston students, faculty and staff.
In addition to the usual fare, all snack machines will now contain Canteen’s Choice Plus product line of “better-for-you” items, which will make it easier to know which snacks are better ones to choose.
To help identify healthier choices, all vending machines feature Choice Plus labels on the exterior, while corresponding green leaf stickers identify the healthier items inside the machines.
The University’s Wellness Planning Committee, comprising faculty, staff and students, meets regularly to discuss wellness opportunities at UH and different ways to create a healthier campus community. The committee worked together with Auxiliary Services to implement the healthier vending options, said HR Wellness Administrator Court Stein, who chairs the committee.
According to Stein, the effort is really about “making the healthier choice the easier choice.”
“While vending machines serve an important role on campus, they typically contain products that are high in sugar, sodium and fat. By providing options that are low in fat and have reduced sugar and sodium, as well as beverages that are sugar free or have zero calories, students, faculty and staff will now have more choices – healthier choices – when grabbing something on the go,” he said.
Matthew Destouet, Vending Services program coordinator and committee member, said the changes will allow the UH community to make a more nutritious choice when purchasing an item from one of the University’s many vending machines.
“There are times when we all need to grab something that’s quick and easy. Now vending machines on campus will include more nutritious options that not only satisfy one’s hunger, but are better for you,” Destouet said.
The UH Vending Services webpage includes a list of Choice Plus products and nutrition criteria, as well as maps identifying the locations of all the vending machines on campus.“Diet is an important part of overall wellness, but eating well all the time can be a challenge,” Stein said. “We want to make sure people have a healthier choice when grabbing a bite on the run. Having healthier vending options on campus is one way of doing just that.”