Creating a culture of health in the workplace requires support in all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition. Introducing food wellness programs will not only help to generate healthy eating habits in the workplace and beyond, but will also assist in building a more robust program overall. As a result, developing a reputable and well- rounded wellness program inspires healthy, happy employees and ultimately positions your company as an attractive employer.
Establishing food wellness training can take many forms at the business level
It is important to adapt strategies that are appropriate for your company, culture, and population. Here are just a few examples of nutrition wellness programs to try in your office.
- Conduct in-house educational nutrition workshops. Hosting in-house educational workshops on healthy diets and nutrition led by your onsite health coach or outside professional is a great way to promote healthy lifestyles in the workforce. Topics may include healthy cooking, the benefits of healthy eating, budgeting healthy meals, and where to find nutritious food locally. Consider offering financial incentives for attendance as part of your benefits package to encourage participation. You may also decide to take a more hands on approach by providing opportunities to share and/or taste test healthy recipes at the office on a regular occasion.
- Partner with a local CSA or farm-share. This will provide employees with memberships or access to fresh, local produce. Doing so will enrich your food wellness program through valuable nutrition and relationships. Not only can employees feel great about the food they receive, but can also feel good about contributing to their local community.
- Integrate healthy food on site. Try integrating healthy food on site to increase access and encourage healthy choices. This may include providing a healthy breakfast once a week, having a community garden or serving healthy meal options at the company cafeteria. Supporting these initiatives with educational literature or presentations can help to inspire interest and participation.
Connecting physical and food wellness programs
Make sure employees have access to and are encouraged to part in the most effective wellness programs by building a connection between physical and food wellness programs. One great way to incorporate fitness and nutrition is to provide a healthy meal for the office at the end of fitness programs as an incentive.
As with any wellness initiative, it is important to have advocacy and support from company leadership. Doing so will help to set expectations and drive cultural growth from the top down. Invite company leaders to participate and promote your food wellness programs. Finally, be sure to celebrate the success of such programs with participants by sharing achievements and success stories as appropriate on a regular basis.