Nutrition and Workplace Culture – Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice
Guest post by RD Intern Nicole Freche
Listen to Nicole’s thoughts on making the healthy choice, the easy choice and be sure to tune in next week for the full interview. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! (Psst! Don’t forget to download the Healthy Breakroom Checklist at the bottom of this post!)
Our workplace culture may not always foster a healthy lifestyle. Constant emails, calls, and meetings can keep us distracted from remembering to eat. We must remember to incorporate healthy foods into our diet in order to fuel our work performance.
We’re busy. There’s not enough time in the day. No breakfast this morning? No worries there are either donuts in the break room or snacks in the vending machine. Work – meeting – phone call – meeting. Wow, it’s lunch time already; but, we have all these emails to answer, so we stay at our desk and eat our lunch. Or maybe we skip lunch today. Does this sound all too familiar?
Nutrition and Productivity
At work, we want to be as most productive as possible. But, our productivity is affected by a few factors, one of them being energy. And where is one place we get our energy from? That’s right, our food! Food will not only help give us the energy you need for the day but will also keep us concentrated. Plus, we won’t be distracted from feeling hungry.
So how many meals should we have a day? A good rule of thumb is to have small frequent meals every 4 or so hours. This looks like 3 meals a day with snacks in between. Snack between meals IF you are hungry; it is not necessary to force snacks if you aren’t hungry. Keep in mind a snack means planning one or two food items instead of grazing, like grabbing a container of peanuts and eating it all throughout the day.
Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice
So how do we change our workplace culture by encouraging a healthy lifestyle? Here are a few ideas:
- Make a goal to eat lunch in the break room or outside with a coworker: It’s important to step away from the work day to not only take a break and refuel but to also get the body moving. In addition, we become more mindful of our eating thus are less likely to overeat.
- Suggest social activities involving food: have a potluck, a cooking contest on who can create the healthiest dish or a recipe exchange day
- Set some office rules: if there’s a meeting with food, provide healthy options. For example, have yogurt bar instead of donuts; a build your own taco salad or burrito bowl; or even a bowl of fruit instead of a bowl of candy.
- Managers and supervisors: enable your employees to eat well by providing the necessary equipment. Employees are more likely to bring lunch from home if there are a refrigerator and microwave. Also, encourage water consumption by supplying a water cooler.
Does your breakroom need an audit? Download our FREE “Healthy Breakroom Checklist” here.
These recommendations are based on general, healthy nutrition. Please ask your doctor or dietitian about specific recommendations if you have a condition or health concerns.