I remember an episode of My So-Called Life where Rayanne was trying to get an apple out of a vending machine at school and thinking, “That would be great. Why aren’t there more healthy vending machines? I’d eat an apple with Jordan Catalano.* ” Seems one school district in Dallas also saw that episode and is trying out just such an idea to promote healthy eating among its students.
While it’s not an all-carrot vending machine, or even an apple machine a la MSCL, the offerings from the Fresh Healthy Vending machine at the Academy of Dallas Charter School are healthier than your average candy bars, cookies and chips.
School officials put the new machine in the cafeteria as part of a healthy eating initiative, reports CBS DFW News.
“We have growing concerns about what our students are eating, with childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes,” explained the principal. “So, we wanted to bring something into the school that gets students moving and teaches them appropriate eating habits.”
The franchise owners of Fresh Healthy Vending in Dallas County says kids didn’t quite get it at first.
“When we installed the machine, we had a kid joke, ‘What’s going in there, apples and oranges?’ And we laughed,” said one owner, “because kids don’t realize when you snack, it’s still snacks, but it’s so healthy.”
There are sweet and savory snack options, but the products don’t have artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, and the ingredients are all natural.
“All organic, gluten-free products. All the products are just better for you,” said the franchise’s other owner. “It’s going in schools, businesses all throughout the City of Dallas.”
Students are digging it thus far, as well, which is the important part when it comes to changing unhealthy eating habits early on.
“It’s actually better,” said one, with another adding, “It also tastes really good. My mom said the same thing, because I used to eat a lot of junk food. And she says if you start early, you won’t be able to stop later on.”
*I would totally still eat an apple with fictional character Jordan Catalano any day.