Promoting healthy eating at work
Has your workplace considered starting a healthy eating program? According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, “When a workplace can help employees to make wise food choices, as part of a workplace health program, it can influence the person’s long-term health and wellness.”
If a healthy eating program sounds interesting, CCOHS advises keeping one thing in mind: Ensure employees know that the program would be entirely voluntary, and recognize that not everyone will want to participate. To help decide if a healthy eating program would be right for your office, survey your employees to determine their level of interest, and move forward from there.
CCOHS recommends that you take a look at what types of other programs have worked in the past at your office. Which worked well for employees and which didn’t? Why didn’t certain plans work? Then, come up with a game plan. Know the audience you plan to target with the program, determine when and for how long the program will be offered, and recruit workers who would like to help organize the program.
When it comes to healthy eating, there’s no shortage of topics to explore. Examples include:
- Understanding the basics of healthy eating
- Weight management
- Understanding fats and cholesterol
- Reducing salt in your diet
- Meal planning for your family
- Making smart choices at the grocery store
- Going vegetarian
- Eating healthy when busy
More specific tips from CCOHS about healthy eating programs include teaching workers how to read and understand food labels, posting a list in your office lunchroom of nearby restaurants that provide healthy options, stocking your office’s vending machines with healthier food and drink choices, arranging for a nutritionist to speak at a “lunch and learn” session, and offering healthy snack choices at staff meetings.
Visit www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosocial/healthyeating.html for more ideas on starting a workplace healthy eating program.