Tips to Encourage Healthy Nutrition in the Workplace

by The Cooperative
We can spend many hours during the day at work or working from home. Since the day can get busy, it’s important that healthy nutrition be an easy and simple choice. Whether it be at the office, an office event, or working from home, setting yourself up for success is key!
Here are some tips to encourage healthy nutrition in different workplace settings.
The Office
  • Offer healthy options like fruits or vegetables to employees at little or no cost. These can make for healthy, easy choices when someone forgot a snack for the day!
  • In the food vending machine, offer whole grain, low sugar, and low sodium options such as whole grain crackers, sugar free or small portioned desserts, or dry roasted nuts and seeds.
  • In the beverage vending machine, offer low or no calorie items like water, flavored water, or diet and unsweetened options.
  • Discourage others from bringing in additional breakroom items from home – baked goods, leftover holiday candy, etc. so that others aren’t tempted to eat them.
  • Keep breakrooms accessible for all with working appliances such as microwaves and refrigerators to encourage employees to bring healthy options from home rather than ordering food.
Office Events
  • Establish a company policy that potlucks or gatherings must include items from the different food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.
  • Place fruits and vegetables at the front of the serving line so those items can be chosen first.
  • Offer smaller portion plates, bowls, and cups to discourage overeating.
  • Prepare the food in smaller portions. For example, offer protein servings as 3oz or smaller, cut cheese into smaller portions, or precut the desserts into smaller pieces.
  • Offer healthier condiments to go with the meal – salsa, guacamole, low or fat-free or low sugar dressings or sauces.
  • Have water or a low calorie beverage option available to all.
Work from Home
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand – fruits, vegetables, whole grain items, portioned dry roasted nuts and seeds for example.
  • Plan your lunches as if you were going to the office. Just as you would pack a lunch, package dinner leftovers into a portioned container so your lunch for the next day is ready to go.
  • Try to limit extra snacking by listening to your hunger cues or setting times in the day for yourself to get a snack.
  • Continue to stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle or low-to-no calorie beverage with you while you work, and refill it when you step away from your desk on a break or bathroom break.
No matter what environment you work in, try some of these tips to help you stick to your nutrition goals.
By Coach Sarah

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