CDC warns that you should stay away from free snacks such as homemade chocolate chip cookies or a glazed doughnut of a size of a dinner plate or even some bagels. The employees as, as well as the employers, and it very difficult to resist from free goodies available in the workplace especially when it comes to eatables.
According to the new report of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC there are in fact about 25% of employed adults that consume food and drink at their office that comes to an average of 1,277 calories per week.
In another research for food acquisition and purchasing conducted by the national U.S. Department of Agriculture, it was found that free food offered at office accounted for 71% of all calories assimilated at work.
In these researches, the experts analyzed the food and beverages purchased by the employees at work from different vending machines installed or from the cafeterias. It also included those food obtained for free in different common areas such as meetings and conferences and at any worksite social event.
In all situations, the food were found to be high in solid fat content and added sugar with very low calories.
Need to promote wellnessTherefore, when you hire or offer such service to your employees make sure that you promote wellness among your workers along with better health and lifestyle. It is really very difficult to make one opt for an apple instead of a brownie and when food are brought by colleagues to the workplace this happens to be the biggest hindrance to meet your health and wellness goals.
You will be surprised to know that in an Office Team survey among different workers and HR managers, almost fifty percent of them responded that they are better off and eat healthier when they work from home.
This means there is something that should be done immediately and essentially to promote wellness but the question is what really can be done for this purpose. Is it enough to provide a small variety of snacks, water and soda to the employees during the day or is there something else to concentrate on?
Experts say that it is more important for the employers to focus on the health and productivity of the employees in the end. Employers must focus on the goodwill generated from offering these free food and drink to the employees. They are in the belief that it is even more important than trusting on government studies.
It is therefore required to regulate or provide better insight and advice on the behavior of the employee towards healthy snacking. It is more important for an employer to tell their employees what to eat for lunch rather than telling them where to go out to lunch.
Therefore if you are hiring an Office snack service make sure that you clearly mention that all their vending machines include healthier options in it such as nuts, dried fruit, and trail mix along with a few less-healthful choices though making healthy choices will ultimately depend on the employees.
Look for wellness initiatives even more so that you support employee health. It is found through the CDC's study that the foods the workers usually get in their workplaces either tend to contain high amounts of sodium or refined grains. In all circumstances, these foods are very low in whole grains and fruit. Therefore, you will need to take a few innovative steps so that you support your employee health and wellness such as:
- Providing onsite personal trainers
- Giving fitness tracking device to workers
- Offering onsite exercise such as meditation, yoga and even healthy cooking classes and
- Establishing a nurse's department in your office.
- As for office celebrations and other social events, these can become a real sugary treat. To avoid any of these from becoming one you must ensure that you offer health and wellness services through different types of programs such as bike clubs, group fitness activities, and office sports leagues. Other innovative ways can be a gym membership, standing or treadmill desks, and diet counseling.
- You may even bring in outside presenters a couple of times every month during lunch hours so that your employees may learn much about healthy snacking in office though different training programs and develop healthy snacking habits.
- Make sure that you order food and ingredients from the listed and vetted caterers or food-service providers only who are known to provide healthier, clean and fresh food. The types of food to include may be mixed fresh greens, kale, vegetable and fruit salads, antibiotic free meats, wheat and spinach wraps, seltzer and water but no soda.
Ways to add varietyTo make sure that your employees exercise self-control and look beyond the available sugary treats you must add variety to your office snacks and lunches. You must make sure that there are no short of any ideas and the meal does not look like the same sad sandwich every day. To spice up your office meals:
Get a few fresh snack ideas from good service brands in your area.You may also mimic the foods that are popular and in high demand among the employees only making them healthier when you offer.
Know the taste and style because it will not do any good to your purpose if one has to fight against the natural preference and eat something unwillingly.