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The Tumbleweed

School Vending Machines

How Schools Can Improve Their Vending Machines

School vending machines have been an important part of a student’s high school experience. These vending machines offer a quick, convenient snack to students. However, the snacks occupied in these machines are leaned heavily towards fat-free and nutritionally focused choices. And while this can be a good thing, vending machines are slowly losing their reputation as having good snacks. It is also good to mention that students want snacks that they’ll truly enjoy. 


There is no doubt that being healthy and eating healthy is important, being healthy allows you to have more energy that you need throughout the school day. Although, allowing students to buy snacks that they actually enjoy creates a more positive school atmosphere. There are times when a student will be craving chips, but all the chip options are fat-free. Due to this, it can also cause a lack of flavor, allowing the snack to be more bland. Students want to enjoy snacks for what they are, not for what they can be. Having an unhealthy snack is a part of food indulgence, and it should be respected. It’s not a bad thing to want an unhealthy snack here and there. 


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Rather than entirely excluding enjoyable snacks, school vending machines could play a role in teaching students how to moderate their food intake. And instead of the “healthier” snack options, students should have actual healthy food. Processed food but with less fat is still bad for you. Trail mix, apples, nuts, dried fruit, etc, is actually healthy food. Food with the minerals and vitamins that you need. This also goes hand in hand with drinks. There should be a choice on whether or not you can have a regular soda or a diet soda. The school vending machines lack choice in drinks, and due to that, not a lot of students buy very many drinks, despite craving them. 


Overall, there should be more diversity in snack and drink vending machines. Diversity includes less processed foods and actual healthy options, more culturally significant snacks, less diet free foods, etc. By changing the rules of vending machines, there can be more positive thought behind machines, less boredom around snacks and drinks, and more choices and responsibilities laid onto the students. 


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