Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge amidst competing demands of the work day, family responsibilities, and other social obligations. But the food we eat while working not only impacts our health –it can also affect our productivity. Consider the following guidelines when offering food and beverages at meetings and staff gatherings to help support a healthy diet for your employees:
1. Offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Salads, cut-up raw vegetables, and sliced fruit are all good options.
2. Stick to low-calorie and fat-free or low-fat foods. Always put dressings on the side. Try salsa, low-fat yogurt dressing, and sweet mustard as toppings.
3. Provide a variety of grains, especially whole grains. Cereal bars, baked tortilla chips, pretzels, rice cakes, and pita bread all fit the bill.
4. Pay attention to portion sizes. Portion sizes have increased substantially and can contribute to added calories. Try to serve smaller portions of foods, such as mini muffins, mini bagels, or small cubes of low-fat cheese.
5. Consider offering only beverages at mid-morning and mid-afternoon meetings. 100% fruit juices, tea, and water with a slice of fruit or seltzers are all good choices.
Additional materials for Workplace Health Promotion are available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can also visit our section on Employee Health & Wellness for more ideas to encourage healthy habits at work.
Thanks to Robert P. Poli, www.imctr.com