Curb vending machine visits with healthy snack box subscriptions
If you've ever been struck around 3 p.m. with gotta-have-something-now hunger, you know that while pressing B4 on the vending machine will quiet your stomach, it may also expand it.
Now, however, you can have healthy snacks shipped to your office so you never have to guess if cheese crackers or cookies have more protein. Companies are offering subscription services similar to BirchBox (a monthly beauty product subscription service) so you can have boxes of nutritious options sent on a weekly or monthly basis.
"My patients often struggle to find snack foods that are convenient," says Elizabeth Moore, R.D., of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "Having them delivered is very handy."
Moore took a look at the nutritional value of a few services and warns that though many are marketed as healthy, there are some to be wary of. "These snacks are better than most snack foods out there, especially the ones in vending machines," she says. "But it's important to keep whole fruits and vegetables and non-fat dairy in the mix as well."
Check out the list below to see which subscription snack box service could be right for you.
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How it works: Each month, Boxtera delivers 23 to 25 organic snacks for around $30 dollars depending on how many months are ordered at a time.
What's in it: Bitsy's Brainfood Orange Chocolate Beet Snacks, Raw Berry Antioxidant Nut Butter, Cousin Mary Jane's toasted hemp seeds
R.D. notes: It can be dangerous to have so many snacks around at one time, so be careful to only have one serving at a time. And remember that an organic cookie is still a cookie and should be eaten in moderation.
Who it's best for: Those who want to go the organic/GMO-free route and want variation at a good price point.
How it works: Users put together their own weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly deliveries based on food preferences.
What's in it: Mango chutney with black pepper dippers, wasabi peas, dried fruit medleys, salt and vinegar almonds, peanuts
R.D. notes: This comes with a great variety and many options are lighter in calories, but a lot of the foods are still processed.
Who it's best for: Anyone who likes variety when she can't curb a craving.
How it works: About 16 to 20 gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan snacks are delivered monthly for $50 with no snack repeated two months in a row.
What's in it: O.N.E. Coconut Water, Alive & Radiant Foods Kale Crunch, That's It Fruit Bars, Myrna's Skinny Crisps
R.D. notes: Having variety is really helpful for people to prevent boredom, but be wary of the gluten fear the company sends—there are plenty of healthy foods that include gluten.
Who it's best for: Someone with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.
RELATED: Fill up with these six healthy snacks you can't overdo.
Love With Food
How it works: Each month, subscribers receive eight snacks for $12, and for each box purchased, the company donates a meal to a local food bank.
What's in it: Whole-wheat apple fig bars, applesauce on the go, bean and rice chips, buffalo ranch dip
R.D. notes: This option is appropriate in moderation, which works well with only eight snacks per month.
Who it's best for: The do-gooder who likes to indulge.
How it works: Users with allergies select their intolerances and receive monthly shipments of six to eight allergy-friendly snacks for $18.
What's in it: Skeeter peanut-free cookies, organic dried pineapple, almond cake mix, hummus chips
R.D. notes: It is really nice to see food companies catering to these groups, but it is important to remember that gluten-free doesn't equal healthy.
Who it's best for: Allergy sufferers who want a little more variety.