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For nourishment on the job, healthy selections pop up more often

Katherine Fese, Houston Chronicle
Published 9:30 pm, Thursday, November 7, 2013
  • Chuck Olson of CNC Vending uses an electronic checkout at Grocers Supply. CNC provides self-checkout kiosks at an increasing number of companies. Photo: J. Patric Schneider, Freelance / © 2012 Houston Chronicle

    Chuck Olson of CNC Vending uses an electronic checkout at Grocers Supply. CNC provides self-checkout kiosks at an increasing number of companies.

    Photo: J. Patric Schneider, Freelance

 

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Snacks and such

An analysis of CNC Vending's product database showed consumption trends by type of product. A sampling follows.

All products

Healthy or good choice 25%

Traditional 75%

Beverages

Healthy or good choice 29%

Traditional 71%

Snacks

Healthy or good choice 22%

Traditional 78%

Meals

Healthy or good choice 49%

Traditional 51%

Notes:

1 Healthy options often reflect reduced fat or sugar, but do not factor in sodium content.

1 Salad dressing can add a significant number of calories to a healthy meal.

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Picking up a quick snack or meal in the workplace can pack on the pounds, but it doesn't have to.

More companies are adding healthier options to break rooms and vending machines as part of an effort to manage their health care costs, while giving time-strapped employees a better selection.

Over the past several years, CNC Vending owner Chuck Olson has shifted the products he distributes to companies across Houston to reflect a healthier mix. In addition to stocking traditional vending machines, his company offers self-checkout kiosks at a growing number of companies. Similar to a small convenience store, the markets offer fresh deli items as well as packaged products that employees can examine before making decisions.

Olson shared a few examples of ways to keep the calories in check on the corporate campus.

 

Instead of carbonated drinks ...

Healthy choices include: Water, sparkling waters, smartwater, Fiji water.

Good choices: 100 percent juices, Naked drinks, flavored waters.

Instead of gummed fruits, cheese-filled crackers, butter popcorn, Nutella hazelnut spread with breadsticks ...

Healthy choices include: Dried fruit pieces, edamame, pistachios, roasted hummus with pretzels, flavored almonds.

Instead of chips, ice cream and candy bars ...

Good alternatives include: Popchips, Special K Cracker Chips, baked chips, Skinny Cow ice cream, frozen juice bars, Italian ice, Kind Fruit & Nut Bars, Greek Yogurt bars, Larabars.

instead of heavier meals ...

Healthy choices include: Whole and fresh-cut fruit, salads (garden/chicken Caesar, chef, Santa Fe, Asian, Spinach Dijon, and Cobb), rosemary chicken salad sandwiches, Perfect Fit Meals.

Good choices include: Egg salad sandwich, pimiento cheese sandwich, turkey and Swiss on wheat bread, boiled egg and crackers, bagels

Beverages

All products

Meals

Snacks