As business owners, we care about the health and wellbeing of our workforce. We know that if our employees don’t feel well, they aren’t going to be at the top of their game at work. In the last 20 years or so, many employers have introduced wellness initiatives in the workplace. Physical fitness challenges, company sports teams and office walking clubs are fairly common these days. And that is something to celebrate. Getting your employees up and moving is important.

However, with more than two-thirds of Americans qualifying as obese and 86 million people struggling with pre-diabetes, we should also be addressing nutrition. The impact of poor nutrition shows up in the workplace in multiple ways; absenteeism, poor performance (especially midday) or inability to focus.

Supporting healthy eating habits through education is key. What better place than the workplace, to make nutrition resources available? Through positive encouragement, you can influence behavior change. Best case scenario: Your workers take their new knowledge home with them and teach their family to eat more healthily.  

Healthy Eating Strategies

Here are some ideas to help improve the nutrition of your team:

  1. Breakroom snacks – Does your breakroom contain candy bars and soda? Employees will grab what is quick and easy. Having a good supply of fresh fruit and/or vegetables available each day will help them improve their general health and help remove that sugar crash in the afternoon.
  2. Fresh meal services – In many communities there are businesses that will deliver fresh salads and healthy food alternatives right to the office. Having a variety of salads for your team members to select from a menu might well encourage them to avoid the heavy calories of fast food.
  3. Cool drinking water – Install a cool water fountain that is easily accessible for refilling water bottles. This encourages employees to enjoy good hydration. Add lemon or other fresh fruits for them to use, if desired. Hydration is critical to our bodies and most of us don’t get enough water in our day.
  4. Make it fun – For example, organize a contest for healthy recipes. In this time of COVID, we’ve all been doing more cooking at home. Perhaps your staff has some great healthy recipes to share. Have them share a photo of their cooked meal and the recipe. This could turn into a great company cookbook! Consider inviting your vendors to join.

Use these ideas to honor National Nutrition Month in your office. The bottom line is this: improving nutrition helps us on multiple fronts: 1) Your employees will feel healthier. 2) They’ll be able to focus more when their body is performing at its best. 3) And maybe – just maybe – by addressing nutrition in our workplaces, we as employers, can help reduce the number of obese people in America.