Effective Ways to Promote Healthy Eating Among the Workforce

By Lucy Wyndham | July 17, 2021

Eating healthy, especially while at work, is a major challenge for the general workforce. In fact, 56% of respondents in a recent survey by the Heart Association stated that they find it very difficult to eat a healthy lunch at work. Encouraging healthy eating among the workforce can play an integral role in not only fostering employee health but creating an environment that facilitates optimum productivity and job satisfaction. When employees are encouraged to follow a healthy diet both in and out of the workplace, the benefits to both the organization and its workforce can be optimized. Here are a few ways employees can be encouraged by the HR department of an organization to choose what they eat with greater care.

Start using healthy meal kits in the cafeteria

Meal kits have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, especially among individuals who try to stick to a healthier diet. By making use of meal kits to prepare healthy meals in the office cafeteria, a range of problems can be addressed simultaneously. Not only will employees be able to choose from a range of nutritious meals, but food wastage will also be reduced considerably.  By making the effort to source environmentally-friendly meal kits, there is also no need to be concerned about the amount of waste that is generated by the packaging. There are countless meal kit options available that cater to various dietary needs including low-carb, vegetarian, gluten-free, Paleo, and low-fat.

Provide healthy food for meetings and functions

Meetings and functions are common occurrences in a business environment. Unfortunately, the food that is on offer at these gatherings is often far from healthy. Sandwiches, crisps, donuts, and tacos may be appetizing but they aren’t bound to win any nutrition-based awards. If your organization makes use of a catering company, speak to them about providing alternatives to the typical high-carb and deep-fried fare.  Most fried foods are equally as delicious when grilled and wholegrain bread and crackers are also considered good choices. By making healthy food available to the workforce, both their performance and productivity can be enhanced. They are also likely to become increasingly engaged and creative according to the Journal of health Psychology.

 Reduce the temptations

It becomes considerably easier to encourage healthy eating among employees when the temptations in the work environment are removed or, at the very least, reduced.  Replace the full cream milk in the cafeteria with a low-fat option and make sweeteners available in addition to regular sugar. If there is a vending machine on the premises, add a range of healthy food options to the offerings or consider removing it altogether and replacing it with a salad or smoothie bar. The WHO recommends that at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables are consumed daily and these additions will make it significantly easier to achieve.
Encouraging the workforce to eat healthily can be of considerable benefit to both the employee and the organization. Apart from boosting health and wellness, an increase in productivity can also be expected.