Healthy eating is a key factor in taking care of our bodies and keeping a healthy weight. In 2009, only 24.2% of adults in Reno and Sparks reported that they ate the recommended five fruits and vegetables a day.
Some people question promoting healthy nutrition at the workplace because they feel that adults should be able to make their own choices when it comes to what they eat. In fact, no one disagrees. Adults should make their own choices; however, employers can bring about small changes that will encourage and support employees in making healthier choices.
The Top 5 Free Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating For Employees:
- Provide healthy choices at employee social events. For example, in addition to having ice cream, offer low-fat frozen yogurt or fruit popsicles as well.
- Select healthy choices for the vending machines. Items with higher nutritional value include pretzels, peanuts, and granola bars. Add bottled water and 100% fruit juice as another option to choosing soda.
- Encourage employees to bring healthy options if they choose to bring treats in to work. If someone brings donuts to a meeting, they must also bring a healthy choice such as fruit. Better yet, institute a “Junk Food Free” meeting policy!
- To avoid lots of unhealthy foods around holidays and special occasions pick one day during the season for a potluck. Post a sign-up sheet with specific items to bring (veggies, main dishes, etc). This will help reduce seasonal “grazing.”
- Post information about healthy eating, such as the new Choose My Plate in break rooms and other communal spaces.
There are numerous other options available. Use your imagination and remember to lead by example.
Check out this fact sheet for healthy eating at work.
For more information on supporting healthy nutrition at your workplace, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthier Worksite Initiative (HWI).