Students spend a lot of time at school and that means they have to eat. In fact, they often take in 50 percent of their daily calories during the school day. With childhood obesity on the rise, it is more important than ever to give students healthy food products for snacks and options at school. That can prove challenging at times, but parents, school administrators, and even students want to make changes when it comes to this issue. Healthy eating as a child and teen is a priority and teaching the young how to make wise choices is also very important. If you are going to be operating a school vending system, there are several things you will need to understand in order to do it correctly.
1. Understand The Smart Snacks In Schools Program
The Smart Snacks in Schools program was started during the 2014-15 school year. If a school offers the Free Lunch Program, they must comply. That means that all foods that are sold during the day have to meet specific nutrition standards. This includes foods sold a la carte, at the school store, and of course, from vending machines. There are also different specifications for high schools versus elementary schools. The more educated you are on this program, the better.
2. Know Your Snacks
If the school needs to follow Smart Snack Rules, or if you just want to offer healthy choices, you need to know the snacks well. Read labels and learn what contains reduced sugar, cholesterol, fat, and sodium so you know what will be allowed and what is healthier for the students in the school. You need to focus on products that are not only more health conscious, but also those that are going to be popular with the students. If you only put boxes of raisins in the machine, they will simply ignore them. The balance has to be between health and popularity to make school vending work.
3. Keep Up With Stocking
Students will appreciate machines that have what they want, when they want it. If they visit a machine several times and can’t find their special snack, they’ll give up. School vending has to keep well-stocked machines that are in excellent working condition. They also need to be clean and look nice. If something isn’t working right within the machine, it needs to be taken care of right away.
4. Allow Access To School Vending
Not every individual school will know what to do when it comes to school vending, especially if they have to follow the federal Smart Snacks rules. The restrictions might seem limiting and make it more challenging to fill up the vending machine with snacks the kids will actually like. And that’s why it’s important to have experts on call to get the help you need with school vending. Camelback Vending Services can install vending machines into your school at no cost to you on a commission program. You’ll earn a portion of the proceeds to fund school activities. If you get the balance of health and popularity right, commissions can really add up! And kids and teens learn better when they are operating on a full stomach. Let’s work together to find the right solutions for your school vending issues!