Are the vending machines and break rooms at your office stocked with healthy, nutritious snacks and drinks or are they stuck in an unhealthy time warp and loaded with processed, packaged snack foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat, and beverages with added sugars? Because employees spend over 1/3 of their day in the workplace, employers have a unique opportunity to support employees’ health with the foods and beverages they provide at the worksite. A food and beverage review, analysis and modification can substantially improve the nutritional value of the snacks and drinks you make available to your employees while at work.
Don’t look to your snack vendor to improve your options, as their goal is to profit from the foods and beverages that “sell.” You may find it confusing to figure out where to start because there is so much misinformation in the market on “healthy foods” with a multitude of mixed messages in the media and advertising.
The first step in improving the food environment at work is to contract with a wellness partner that has a Registered Dietician on staff who utilizes current evidence-based practices in nutritional science. An outside consultant will work with your team to support the unique needs of your employees and bring healthy food and beverage options for you to consider, and that you can then request your snack vendor to procure.
Additional steps toward improving the food environment at work:
- If you have a corporate cafeteria, work with a wellness partner to review and modify the menu, portion sizes and beverages
- Develop healthy food guidelines for catered and special events
- Create a list of healthy choices available at local restaurants and caterers
Automate wellness at your worksite by making the healthy choice the default choice by providing healthy food and beverage options in the workplace.
Lori Arden, Director of Client Outreach, ConnectWell
Andrea Bloom, Founder and CEO, ConnectWell