Type of Play: Healthy Eating
Subcategory: Making Nutritious Foods Fun
Student Interest Areas: Culinary, Public Relations
Grade Level: Secondary
Level of Involvement: Going Further
Work with your school leaders to reorganize vending machines in your school. Move the machines with nutrient-rich options to high-traffic areas. Then move the healthier choices to eye level in the machines – or better yet, get the less healthy choices replaced with healthier options!
- Form a team to plan vending machine reorganization
- Provide the team with related information
- Identify which machines should be moved
- Identify healthy food choices to move to eye level
- Identify less healthy choices to be replaced
- Inform the school of changes made to vending machines
- Form a team including students, teachers, school leaders, parents, the principal and school nutrition professionals. Discuss a plan for moving vending machines in the school so that nutrient-rich food choices are offered in areas with more traffic. Also discuss how healthy food choices should be more visible (at eye level) in the vending machines, making them more likely to be noticed and selected. Less healthy choices can also be replaced with healthier options.
- With your team, identify which machines should be moved, and to which location. Then identify which foods and beverages should be rearranged in the vending machines, and which foods you might replace with healthier options.
- Consider surveying students, teachers and staff to ask them which healthy food options they’d like to see available in vending machines. Try to include as many of these choices as possible.
- Use the Tools and Resources below to help with surveys and learn more about the benefits of this strategy.
- After you’ve made changes to vending machine locations and contents, let the school know! Distribute flyers and put up posters that explain the changes and promote the healthier food choices.