The average American spends about 1/3 of their life working. What better place to institute policies and programs that promote proper nutrition?
Whoa, whoa, whoa…I don’t mean everyone in the office needs to start a crash diet and is miserable for the next 4 to 8 weeks! Let’s make it fun and make the messages stick so these habits will last forever.
Here we go –
1. Institute a Healthy Foods in the Workplace Policy
You know that person who brings doughnuts to the office every Monday? Well, what if they brought fruit instead? You probably wouldn’t be hating yourself or regretting that 3rd glazed treat. Implementing a healthy foods policy is a simple, yet effective, way to encourage nutritious options at all company sponsored events. The policy does not exile all “unhealthy” foods instead it requires that a healthy alternative be provided when an unhealthy item is present. For example—having low-fat milk and water available in addition to the cola drinks.
2. Conduct a Mini-Farmer’s Market in Your Parking Lot
Friendly reminder: We will not be at the St. Augustine Pier Farmer’s Market. First stop is @BaileyGroupFL at 12:30! pic.twitter.com/onLX7s1NYF
— Farm to Family (@FarmtoFamilyFL) December 3, 2014
For the last few months, at our office, we’ve been lucky enough to have a local produce distributor set-up shop in our parking lot. Not only is it convenient, it is fresh and local! Do some research to see if you have any produce vendors that would be interested in coming to your office and selling their harvest. If nothing like that exists in your area, try reaching out to grocery store, health foods store, or even a registered dietitian to come on-site and perform a cooking demonstration for your employees.
3. Run a Nutrition Challenge
Nutrition challenges can run the gamut in intensity. The easiest challenge being a running food journal for four to eight weeks all the way up to eating a different colored fruit and vegetable every day for 30 days. One of my absolute favorite nutrition challenges is the Eat Right for Life program. Written by Dr. Ann Kulze. This 8-week program breaks down everything you’ll ever need to know about what you’re putting in your mouth. Dr. Ann has a very simplistic way of bringing very high level information down to those of us who are not medical doctors.
Each of these initiatives take time to implement and it takes hard work to make them successful. Before implementing any of these (or any other wellness initiative in that case), you should look at your population and determine if this is a topic they would be interested in. As the program progresses, be sure to evaluate it periodically for success and employees’ response. We should always be striving to make our programs the best that it can be and this comes through evaluation.
Each member of our team is well-versed in every nutrition program that is on our extensive list. If you’re ready to get your business on-track with a nutrition initiative (or any other initiative), contact our office today to get started. We’re ready when you are!
Hanna Chester obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of North Florida. She has enjoyed combining both her insurance and wellness background to provide functional programs for Bailey Group clients. Fostering relationships and building employee participation are driving forces behind her dedication.