8 ways your business can encourage healthy eating at work

“You are what you eat.” That’s a quote from Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1826. And quite rightly so.

If not, why do people who eat so much become obese, and those that don’t eat well become suddenly thin?

Indeed, it’s true that one’s physical appearance is a true reflection of their eating habits.

As a business owner, the onus is on you to ensure your employees exhibit excellent eating habits. It is important that they do because feeding patterns impact productivity and performance.

Without saying much, here are a few steps you can take to encourage healthy eating amongst your workers.

  1. Sensitization

It is normal to assume that everybody knows the importance of proper feeding. But guess what? Not many people understand the correlation between feeding patterns and productivity?

Most people just eat for the sake of it. They don’t really understand how their foods relate to their performances in life and at work.

As a leader and an owner, it’s expected of you to sensitize your workers on these matters. Print and distribute leaflets that teach the importance of proper nutrition. Paste the importance of balanced diets on factory walls. Talk to employees about how various foods impact their health. Invite nutrition experts to come and give advice and recommendations on food types that boost productivity.

  1. Put a system in place

Some of your employees don’t eat well at work because they don’t have access to the kinds of foods they want.

You can help them out by removing some of the obstacles in the way.

For example, you can have a refrigerator or a microwave stationed somewhere in the company so that employees can easily reheat or store foods they bring from home.

  1. Understand each employee’s ‘wants’ and help arrange for it

As part of your employee identification procedure, you can gather information on the kinds of foods each worker likes to eat at the point of joining your organization.

With this information, you can suggest nearby restaurant solutions or help arrange food delivery services.

For instance, a Korean worker or a Chinese consultant coming to work in an English environment may not be comfortable with the foods around them. And this may lead to them not eating the way they ought to.

If you’ve taken the time to understand the feeding desires of these people, you may be able to suggest to them the best Korean restaurant or Chinese restaurant around.

  1. Have canteens in the company

It is not new to find canteens, cafes, or restaurants inside organizations. In fact, if you’re serious about encouraging healthy feeding habits in your workplace, this is something you don’t want to joke with.

You can invite restaurant owners to come and build small cafes in your organization. Heck, you can even charge them a small fee.

If you want to take this to another level, you could invite multiple cafes that serve different cuisines. This will make a lot of sense for cases where your business is a multicultural space.

For example, you could have a mini Japanese restaurant, then a French cafe, and then an African canteen. It doesn’t have to be big spaces. Just something small and effective.

  1. Provide quality information

The type of job you do is a big factor to consider when figuring out what to eat. Unfortunately, not many people take cognizance of this.

I mean, we’ve seen cases where people doing heavy-duty jobs feed on snacks and fruits all day long. They claim it’s because they don’t have the time to get something heavier.

If your employees are like this, it’s only a matter of time before they break down. And even if they don’t, you’ll soon notice a drop in their productivity levels.

A better would be to keep pamphlets and flyers about basic health and nutrition information in your HR department, along walkways, in canteens, and other strategic places.

The idea is to help employees understand the correlation between their workload and feeding patterns.

  1. Make room for proper ‘Meal and Rest Breaks’

Don’t just talk the talk. You should also walk the talk.

It’s not enough to just talk to employees about the need to feed well if you aren’t giving them enough time to do that.

As basic as this may sound, many companies are guilty of this – not giving employees enough break time. Some years back, retail giant Walmart was forced to pay her employees $172 million in damages for failing to give them lunch breaks.

We’re not trying to scare you into thinking your employees will charge you to court, too. We just want you to understand the significance of giving workers adequate break hours.

  1. Start a healthy eating program

Having explained to your workers the benefits of healthy eating, a good way to get them on board might be to organize a voluntary feeding program. This kind of program will be tailored to encourage certain feeding styles and observe certain feeding patterns. The program can stipulate to employees what to eat and what not to eat and other important dietary necessities.

Of course, no employee should be forced to join the program, but there should be exciting rewards for those that join.

  1. Have free meals on offer

Sometimes, the only way to get people to do what you want is to make a FREE offer.

Humans love freebies.

Whether you’re looking to add more avocados to your workers’ daily regimen or a bit of yogurt to their diets, you can achieve that by making the stuff available for free.

In the morning, you can place free fruit plates on everyone’s table. Later in the day, you can get a food delivery service to come and deliver free donuts or yogurts. Some other time, a caterer can come to deliver a roll of sandwiches or a bowl of soup.

You get the idea?