sweet and sour snacks

Making the best vending machine choices

We’ve all been there – the meeting ran long, lunch ran short, and you forgot to eat. Next thing you know it’s 3 p.m., and your co-workers are starting to look like cartoon hot dogs and pizzas. You need something to eat and fast. If you were health-conscious and organized, you would have snacks packed away in a filing cabinet for just this very situation. However since you are super busy, this likely didn’t happen and off to the vending machine you go. The question is what to choose from this display of salty, sweet, colorful snacks without ruining your dinner or your waistline? Maybe you are lucky and your office has put in the salad and fruit vending machines. But if you are like most of us, the machine has the standard snacks like Hot Cheetos, Pop-Tarts, Snickers, and Skittles. Not great options, but here is how to make lemonade out of those lemons.

Sweet Choices


choose nuts for healthy vending machine choices

Salted or honey roasted nuts have some protein and fiber that help keep you full a little longer.

Trail Mix

trail mix best vending machine snacks

This mix tastes a little sweet with the nuts and raisins, which may help you feel more like you had a treat worth eating.

Chex Mix

chex mix for healthy vending machine choices

This classic is actually low in fat and fairly satisfying.

Granola Bars

Yes, these bars are very high in carbs, but at least some oats slow the digestion, plus they take a little longer to eat, helping you feel more satisfied.


best vending machine snacks on the hgo

It’s lots of volume for not so many calories; but for the love of Pete, don’t burn it in the lounge. That smell will haunt you all day.

Sour Notes

Snickers Bars

bad vending machine choices

Sure, the ads make these bars sound like the best choice available and can really satisfy. Well, if you think 280 calories of straight sugar is satisfying for longer than 30 minutes, good luck to you.


bad vending machine choices

They are so darn cute when they are mini, but they disappear so quickly you’ll have eaten the whole package in five minutes flat.


Hot Cheetos will leave you with orange fingers but that’s about it. Doritos and potato chips are full of fat, low in fiber, and the salt sends you searching for water.

Pop Tarts

bad vending machine choices

Are there any redeeming qualities here? Probably not.

Honey Bun

worst vending machine choices

This sugary sensation might be the worst choice in the whole machine. At 330 calories, these buns have plenty of preservatives and are a sticky mess.