7 Ways Businesses Can Promote Healthy Eating at Work
You want to best for your employees, including a healthy lifestyle. Learn how you can encourage healthy eating at work and help your employees eat better.
Are you trying to figure out how to eat healthy at work?
More Americans have obesity now than at any point in our history. About 36% of adults have obesity, and about 70% of Americans are overweight.
In 2008, the medical costs for someone with obesity are $1429 more every year than for someone who is of normal weight.
Our current lifestyle doesn’t help. We spend more hours sitting and less time exercising. Your employees are more focused on fitting food into their busy schedule. That means that they’re going to go with the most convenient option, as opposed to a healthy choice.
If you want to do your part to keep your employees healthy, it starts with their diet. Read on for the top 7 ways you can get your employees to eat healthy at work.
Why Does Eating Healthy Matter?
Does nutrition really matter? Of course, it does! Some of your employees might protest because they feel that it’s their right to eat whatever they want.
Here’s the thing to remember. Getting your employees to eat healthily isn’t being part of a nanny state. It’s actually good economic sense.
Here are the real costs of poor nutrition and why you’d want your employees to eat healthily.
- We spend more than $3.2 trillion dollars on healthcare every year. Businesses account for 20% of those expenditures.
- Poor diet has been tied to decreased productivity.
- Diet and nutrition have also been linked to cognitive brain functions and focus.
The bottom line is that if you want your employees to be high performers, you have to give them healthy food options.
1. Give Your Employees Space to Store Food
If you’re encouraging your employees to ring food from home to eat healthily, you’re going to have to give them a space to store their lunch and snacks. Depending on the number of employees you have, you’ll have to purchase a couple of large refrigerators.
You’ll have to have the policy to clean out the refrigerator regularly, but you’ll find that it’s worth the time and investment.
2. Teach Employees How to Plan Meals
Healthy eating at work starts at home for many of your employees.
Your employees are stretched with time and competing demands. That means there’s less time to cook at home and then they’ll go out to eat for lunch.
You can teach your employees to plan meals at home for the week, which will reduce eating out.
They can bring those meals to work, giving them healthy options at the office.
3. Start a Wellness Program
Your human resources department can begin a wellness program. These programs have been shown to increase productivity and reduce the number of sick days.
There are several components to these programs. They include workshops by doctors on disease management, coaches help with stress management, and you can have components on healthy eating and exercise.
For example, you can have a nutritionist visit your office to discuss healthy food options and what they do for your body. Food can impact your teeth, hair, and weight.
4. Make Healthy Options Convenient
Your employees are busy all day long. They’ll reach a point in the day when they’re hungry, usually between noon and 3 pm, and they’ll grab the closest thing to them.
Sometimes, they’ll have something like a protein bar with them. Otherwise, they’ll grab a candy bar out of the vending machine or they’ll run to the nearest convenience store and pick something up from there.
Employees like to celebrate holidays and birthdays, too. That’s usually marked with pizza, cupcakes, or birthday cakes.
There are a couple of ways to provide healthier alternatives.
The first is the replace the pizza and cupcakes with healthier alternatives. The second is to make healthier options more convenient.
You can do that by installing a HealthyYou vending machine or create another business opportunity with a HealthyYou vending machine franchise.
Instead of offering candy and sodas to your employees in your vending machines, offer nuts and flavored waters.
If you want to know more about these vending machines, take a look at HealthyYou vending reviews.
5. Give Employees Healthy Recipes to Try at Home
When you’re teaching employees how to plan meals at home, you can take it a step further and give them recipes to try.
You can have cooking demos in your office to make it fun and engaging.
The more options you give employees to cook at home, the more likely they’ll have leftovers to take to work the next day.
That gives them a way to eat healthy while at work.
6. Have a Healthy Food Cookoff
To get employees into the idea of eating healthy at work, you’re going to have to make it fun.
One way to do that is by having a cookoff. It’s competitive, and it’s a way to create camaraderie among your staff.
Encourage your employees to try the recipes you gave them and then have a cookoff at the office. It can be around any theme, like a chili cookoff.
7. Host a Weight Loss Challenge
One way to trigger a certain behavior is to make it competitive.
You can start with a weight loss challenge to encourage healthy eating. You can combine this with other tips, like make it a part of your wellness program or make foods more convenient.
With a weight loss challenge, you should have a nutritionist or registered dietician come in and monitor employees’ food intake.
Some super competitive employees might go to extremes and cut calories so much that they are doing more harm than good.
Having an expert in nutrition supervise the challenge will keep your employees safe, and they’re well prepared to set themselves up for success.
Healthy Eating at Work
As a business owner, you need your employees to be at the top of their game. At the core of that is a healthy diet.
There are plenty of ways that you can encourage healthy eating at work. The keys to having successful healthy eating programs are to make it fun, and convenient.
Want more tips to stay healthy? Read our blog today.