Food and Drink

Making Smart Decisions At A Vending Machine


We’ve all been there. You’re out with your friends and then the moment of weakness occurs… must. get. a. snack. Instead of depriving yourself (which will probably lead to you overindulging later on in the day) why not just choose wisely?

Weight Watchers put together a small guideline list we should all look over once and put to memory. If you aren’t on the plan, don’t worry about the actual point values for each item. Just use the list as a reference when the urge appears.

Smart Picks

  1. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a fiber-rich breakfast or snack choice. A single serving of apples and cinnamon instant oatmeal contains 130 calories for a POINTS value of 2.
  2. Cereal Bars: They were intended for breakfast, but whole-grain cereal or granola bars will fuel you anytime. One typical cereal bar has a POINTS value of 3.
  3. Trail Mix: A combination of nuts and dried fruits, such as raisins, delivers protein and fiber. But be sure to avoid versions mixed with candies such as chocolate or banana chips. A 1/4 cup of trail mix has a POINTS value of 4.
  4. Energy Bar: If you have hours to go before you can enjoy a real meal, choose one of the big guns: an energy bar. An average energy bar has a POINTS value of 4 to 5.

Poor Picks

  1. Frosted Pastries: Not even kids should pop these in the toaster. One frosted toaster pastry packs a POINTS value of 9.
  2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: It’s obvious that a chocolate bar won’t provide lasting energy, but some might think that adding the nutrients and protein in peanut butter might help the mix. For a POINTS value of 6 for just two, though, it’s pure candy.
  3. Potato Chips: Most chips are fried, which boosts their POINTS values skyward (1 serving has a POINTS value of about 4). Of course, you could be lucky enough to run across a vending machine stocking baked chips, which have a POINTS value of 2, with far less fat.
  4. Snackwells Cookie Sandwiches: With 1 or 2 POINTS values per cookie, these won’t ruin your daily standing, but they are heavily sweetened and won’t do much for real hunger. Bottom line: “They’re not very filling,” says Lee.
  5. Pretzels: So maybe this isn’t a worst choice. What should be noted, however, is that this snack is often thought to be a safe vending machine mainstay at a POINTS value of 2 (for 1 oz of pretzels). But they’ve got little fiber, so soon you’ll be taking a trip back for another snack.
Vera Sweeney, mom, blogger, social media influencer and New York resident, is the founder of She is considered one of the top female digital influencers in today’s social media space. Her lifestyle and parenting brand helps busy women stay on top of the latest trends in fashion, food, family and travel.