Employee Healthy Nutrition Starts with You

Nutrition is one of the most important factors to improve health, and it can often be difficult to improve. But why is that? Some of it has to do with changing ingrained beliefs and habits, setting realistic and achievable goals, overcoming the idea of having to “give up” certain foods or categories of food, stigmas around health and wellness from various parties in the industry, and so much more.

As an employer, it may seem like a daunting and unrequested task to promote employee healthy nutrition, but doing so can bring great change and benefits. Having a healthy workforce improves overall mood, improves sleep habits, and improves day-to-day wellness – to name a few. So what steps should you take to start encouraging healthy nutrition and lifestyles in your organization?

Bring in the Experts

There is an overload of information out there today about healthy habits, but not all of it is based on sound evidence. The first step you can take to provide valuable advice is to bring in someone who is trained and educated on nutrition – such as a dietitian. Whether they come in for a lunchtime presentation, set up discussion times for meal plans with individuals after and provide follow up content and support, or someone that you have on staff to support your teams is up to you and your organization’s needs. But bringing in someone your employees can trust will make a huge difference in their perception of the program and their success.

Watch the ChooseMyPlate.gov video below on the value of healthy eating.

Create an Experience

Make these life changes fun and participatory. Encourage support and even friendly competition – we’re certainly not saying Biggest Loser style, but even just random drawings for prizes with all participants. Build the group up as a team with handy items such as a nutrition tracking journal, a running log of liters of water consumed, participant t-shirts and trophies and more.

Encourage Network Support

For nearly all (if not all) participants, there will be unexpected tests of willpower. Whether it’s someone or something in their life that seems to knock down their attempts or the endless donut days in the office – it is inevitable. Help them power through these internal battles and know when to say, “this isn’t going to break my goals” for the occasional celebrations by setting up support groups. These support groups should have a variety of get togethers – from online access (e.g., a Facebook private group) to team meetings to discuss struggles, concerns, and victories. And don’t forget about the NSVs (no scale victories) – because at the end of the day the most important part of a healthy lifestyle is probably not what the scale says.

We Can Help

Depending on what type of program you are looking for, your Staples team can help. We can guide you to the right products on StaplesPromotionalProducts.com, and even develop a plan of action if you are looking to create a full scale Employee Recognition Program.

For more information on this topic, explore some of the resources below:

American Heart Association

This article is part of a series titled Employee Health. Check out the other articles in the series, and share with your colleagues.