Make Healthful Eating Easy as Fat-Free Pie

By Susan J. Wells Oct 1, 2010

October Cover

Shift the food culture at your company by making some or all of the following changes:

  • Distribute information on diet and nutrition using brochures and posters in common areas, e-newsletters, links from the company intranet, or video or audio webcasts. Create an online page where employees can swap healthful recipes.
  • Offer individual consultation with a health educator/nutritionist.
  • Encourage managers to order healthful food for catered meetings and to replace sodas with water and 100 percent fruit juices. Research catering options and suggest healthful alternatives for meetings.
  • Reward employees with fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and other healthy treats rather than full-fat ice cream, pizzas and cookies.
  • Celebrate birthdays once a month rather than for each employee.
  • Provide food options in the cafeteria that are low- or reduced-fat, low- or no-sugar, low-sodium, low-calorie, fiber-rich, whole grain, etc.
  • Provide nutritional labeling on cafeteria foods. Develop an identification system for marking more-nutritious food and beverage items in the cafeteria. For example, “healthy heart” tags make it easier for employees to spot better choices.
  • Offer full- and half-size portions of food and beverage items in the cafeteria and at catered meetings, such as a half sandwich and a half cup of soup, half-size cans or bottles of soda and juices, and mini-size bags of nuts or trail mix.
  • Offer healthful vending machine snack food options, such as whole-wheat pretzels, whole-grain crackers and low-fat granola as well as bottled water, low-sugar flavored water, 100 percent juices and low-fat milk. Move these items to the top of the vending machines or at eye level. Identify the options with “healthy” stickers.
  • Work with your vending machine vendor to provide healthful cold food options, such as fresh fruit or fruit canned in its own juice, fresh vegetables, salads with low- or reduced-fat dressing, low-fat or low-sugar yogurt, reduced-fat cheese sticks, and low-fat or whole-grain bagels.
  • Install water coolers and distribute reusable water bottles to employees.
  • Consider working with a community-supported agriculture co-operative or distributor to bring fresh food and vegetables on-site on a regular basis.
  • Contact vendors and suppliers before the holidays to encourage them to send healthy treats or to make donations to charities in the company’s name rather than send sugary gifts.

Sources: Partnership for Prevention and company interviews.


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