Celebrating National Nutrition Month gives businesses the opportunity to share the latest research in healthy eating and lifestyle habits. It also provides a means of encouraging everyone to be more healthy, in a fun and engaging way.
Is everyone at your office is already focused on eating better and exercising? There’s still always something new to learn about nutrition! Read through the following suggestions for some ideas on how your team can celebrate National Nutrition Month this year.
A contest is a great way to get people talking about nutrition.
One idea – send out a daily email with a question about nutrition. Collect the right responses, then at the end of the month hold a drawing for the winner(s). T-shirts, drinking cups, pens, pencils, magnets, etc. which promote healthy living are good options for prizes.
Hold a healthy recipe contest among employees. Ask for volunteer judges among upper management and award prizes to the winner(s).
Set up a “real food” challenge. Give rewards (e.g. healthy cookbook, paid time off, etc.) at the end of the month for the employee(s) who brought in – and ate – a healthy lunch the most days of the month.
Potlucks and taste testing
Bring bite size pieces of common and unique vegetables and fruits into the breakroom. Ask everyone to vote on their favorites, then post the results on a tally board to see which foods are the winners.
If your work environment is culturally diverse, ask everyone to bring in their favorite ethnic dishes for a company potluck. Ask the cooks to bring in the recipes for sharing with their co-workers.
Invite knowledgeable guests, such as a cookbook author or nutritionist to your workplace. Have an interactive question and answer session to discuss the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Set up a cooking demo with a restaurant chef or an educator from a nearby culinary school. Include recipes which employees can use in their own homes.
Invite a local fitness or yoga instructor to come and discuss fitness topics. Tips for effective workouts, when to eat, and the impact of healthy eating on weight loss efforts are all helpful topics. Hand out pedometers, t-shirts and/or water bottles to encourage everyone to get more active.
Change the environment
Instead of donuts or sugary muffins, bring fruits, veggies and/or trail mix into the meeting room instead.
Does your office have vending machines? Replace the current selections with healthier choices. Include trail mix, dried fruit, low-sugar energy bars, etc. Make sure to place them at eye level. Stock the less healthy choices at the bottom of the selection list.
Instead of soda machines, fill up the breakroom refrigerator with both filtered and flavored waters.
If you have a cafeteria, make healthy food choices easily accessible. Place the less healthy options where they’re harder to find. Label food choices by color. Use green for the most healthy selections, yellow for moderately healthy, and red for the least healthy options.
Encourage everyone to find ways to be active and eat healthy. Give prizes for the most flights of stairs walked or the most servings of vegetables eaten in a week.
Keep healthy snacks on hand at all times. Choose low processed foods such as trail mix, nut butters, dried fruit, fresh fruit, veggies with hummus or plain, low-fat yogurt. They keep hunger at bay and provide energy to get through the day.
When healthy eating and movement are structured into the workplace, employees will naturally gravitate towards making better choices both at work and at home. This leads to healthier, happier employees. It also is a good return on the company’s investment in their employees’ wellbeing.