Human Nutrition, Diet and Health > HNDH Blog > Posts > Healthy Choices at the Vending Machine or Cafeteria

​Snacking during the work hours can help to keep a person's energy up during the day if they haven't been able to have a healthy breakfast or lunch. However, often the snack choices available at the worksite aren't the healthiest. Also, we often lack the knowledge about nutrition to make the healthy choice.

Alabama Department of Public Health's (ADPH) seeks to provide guidance in helping individuals and worksites make healthier choices. They  use the 10-10-5 rule. 

• 10% or less of the Daily Value (DV) of total fat 

• 10% or less of the Daily Value (DV) of total carbohydrate 

• 5% or more of the Daily Value (DV) of at least one: fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, or iron 

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For more information about ADPH's Alabama's Healthy Vending Machine Program visit their website at​

A traffic light label on food is a very similar idea. A study conducted in a Massechusetts hospital cafeteria found that the 'traffic light' labeling increased the sale of healthy items. Link to study overview with additional links at​​​

If having healthier options at your worksite is important to you, visit these sites and find out how either one these programs could be put into place at your place of work. Many organizations today have Health Committees that you could take the idea to for consideration. There are contacts available at ADPH for the Alabama Healthy Vending Machine program. Regional Extension Agents in Human Nutrition, Diet & Health with the Alabama Cooperative Extension can also assist in helping you or your workplace with snacking and healthy food information, either in publication form or through on-site programming.

Submitted by  Donna R. Shanklin, Regional Extension Agent, Human Nutrition, Diet & Health,, 256-200-2997



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