As the adage goes, “You are what you eat.”—which means unhealthy food leads to unhealthy people.
An unbalanced diet and poor nutrition can contribute to the following health problems:
The most effective way to minimize many of these health risks is to encourage your employees to adopt healthy, well-balanced diets. Good nutrition can positively affect their performance through the following ways:
- Increased productivity
- Increased mental cognition and focus
- Reduced anxiety, stress, and depression
Ideas to Promote Wellness through Nutrition
To achieve a well-balanced diet, there are two key ingredients: controlling portion size and choosing the best foods. To help your employees make healthy, nutritious meal decisions, consider taking these steps:
- Provide healthy, nutritious cafeteria and vending machine options. Choices could include nuts, fresh and dried fruits, water or tea, leaner lunch meats, and fewer frozen or microwavable meals.
- Offer fresh fruit and whole grain breakfast options—avoid sugary treats such as donuts or toaster pastries. According to the Institute for Health and Productivity Management (IHPM), nearly one-third of employees skip breakfast. Without some food—regardless of whether or not it’s nutritious—your employees will have reduced energy, productivity, and focus. BONUS: Download our Fresh Eats poster below to promote some benefits of eating fruit.
- Order healthier options for lunch meetings and company events. Buffets provide your employees with the ability to decide what and how much to put on their plates.
- Schedule a nutritional lunch seminar where a dietitian or physician educates your employees on the importance of a well-balanced diet and the methods of maintaining healthy eating habits.
- Challenge your employees to a healthy recipe contest or weight-loss challenge to encourage better nutrition.
- Promote healthy local restaurants, include a carry-out/delivery directory for new hires and try to organize discounts with local businesses to encourage participation.
- Support drinking water at work. Ensure that free water and spill-proof cups are easily available for employees. Consider buying your staff branded water bottles. Not only will they drink more water, but you’ll also have more eye on your brand. Win-win!
A healthy diet can provide your employees with the energy and focus to be productive and efficient throughout the entire day. If you can become a good role model and resource for your employees, they are more likely to start and maintain better nutrition.
Big changes start with small steps in the right direction. Try a simple fruit bar as a healthy surprise and use our Fresh Eats poster to provide some eye candy!