On Monday, May 20th, Wasatch High School revealed the new additions to the school's halls: healthy H.U.M.A.N. (Helping Unite Mankind And Nutrition) vending machines. Students, faculty, staff and parents all had the chance to sample some of the healthy snacks and juices offered in the new vending machines and to chat with Melissa Milam (Heber Valley Food Revolution) and Jim and Mary Palmer (H.U.M.A.N. Healthy Vending).
Wasatch High is the first school in Utah to replace its typical vending machines with the H.U.M.A.N. healthier alternatives. So far student responses seem positive; when asked how they felt about the change, students Anna and Naomi said, "I love it." Of course, there are also students who will lament the loss of their favorite vending machine treats. Russell, a Senior this year, said that he did not really mind what items were stocked as long as he could still get his Hot Cheetos fix.
Faculty and staff at the high school are of course aware that students can still purchase a range of less healthy options at any of the nearby gas stations and other stores, but are confident that limiting students' access to junk food within the school's halls will go a long way toward encouraging healthy habits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service estimates that children and teens consume 19-50% of their daily food intake while at school, and often students who wish to snack before or after lunch only have access to snacks that are high in saturated fats, sugars and sodium. The Palmers hope to see many other schools follow Wasatch High's example, and plan to replace standard vending machines in schools with H.U.M.A.N. machines statewide in the next 5 years.
To find out more about H.U.M.A.N. healthy vending, check their website at:
To learn more about the Heber Valley Food Revolution and what you can do to help provide healthier alternatives for our community, check out: