Eating Healthy at Work
An awesome way to promote wellness at work is to lead by example. Most workspaces have a break room, meetings, and other areas where there are food offerings. These spaces provide an awesome opportunity to show your employees how to eat well. Most of our work spaces have vending machines, or occasions where the company will provide food. A huge way to impact how your employees view wellness is to take these spaces and opportunities to provide them with healthy food choices. Instead of a soda machine, try water or 100% juices. Try low sugar drinks such as Gatorade G2 or Crystal Light, in vending machines as well. Another option could be that instead of donuts and bagels at the morning meeting, or pizza for the office lunch, provide some healthy options such as salad, fruit, cut veggies with a health dip. Sandwiches are an awesome, tasty alternative to pizza and chicken wings. The cost will be comparable in most cases as well. The larger message here is that the culture of your company is to be healthy and mindful of what you chose to eat.
Health care costs associated with poor diets account for roughly $200 billion each year in lost productivity and medical expenses. Offering healthy food options at the workplace helps employers avoid these problems and supports a culture that values health and wellness.
Here are some suggestions for healthy workplace food and drink options.
- Ice water or bottled spring or sparkling water with no sugar added
- 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices
- Skim or 1 percent milk
- Coffee with skim or 1 percent milk, or fat-free half-and-half
- Regular or herbal tea
Breakfast Meetings and Events:
- Fresh fruit
- Non-fat or low-fat yogurt
- Bagels (3½ inches in diameter or less) served with fat-free cream cheese or sugar-free jelly
- Small or mini muffins (5 grams of fat or less per muffin)
- Fruit breads (5 grams of fat or less per 1 ounce slice)
- Granola bars (5 grams of fat or less per bar)
Lunch and Dinner Events:
- Entrees with no more than 12 to 15 grams of fat
- Entrees that are broiled, baked, grilled or steamed
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Salads with low-fat dressings on the side
- Whole grain breads without butter or margarine
- Reduced-fat pretzels and chips
- Raw vegetables with fat-free or low-fat dressing or salsa
- Low-fat pretzels served with sweet mustard
- Baked tortilla chips with salsa
- Fresh fruit
If you are unable to provide your employees with these health food options on a daily basis, consider sponsoring a healthy lunch or snack every week or month. By providing these healthy options in the workplace, you can positively influence your employees’ eating habits, saving your organization money—and possibly their lives.
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