Health and what we eat has become more important to an overall healthy lifestyle over the last several years. With information about how particular foods affect our bodies, it has become crucial to understand what we are putting in our bodies. While people are more cautious about where they go out to eat or the groceries they buy to make food, one area that has seen less improvement is the workplace and what they have to offer employees. What are some ways eating habits can function better in the workplace?
Allow for longer lunch breaks:
Most companies only offer a half hour lunch. If employees do not bring lunch, this shortage of time prompts employees to rush and pick the worst options for them. Instead of being able to go to a restaurant that provides healthier options, their only option may be fast food or microwaveable meals. While employers do get the final decision of how long lunch breaks are, an hour long lunch break would not only allow employees to make better eating choices, it would also allow employees to decompress from any stressful events at work and resume working more alert and focused. Furthermore, do not allow employees to work through their lunch. This does not allow enough separation from the break employees are entitled to by law and the work they are continuously doing, allowing employees’ performances to suffer.
Offer more accessible clean eating options:
Most workplaces offer the standard vending machines with snacks and soda, neither of which promote healthy eating. Solutions including canteens that provide various snacks and healthier prepared meals are received better in the workplace. Making the low calorie options that the canteen provides and providing incentives to choose the lower calorie options allow employees to make healthier choices.
Do not shame employees for making their food choices:
While a healthy lifestyle encourages better work conditions for employees, not all employees will make healthy choices all the time. It is important to remember that employees have the right to enjoy whatever food they are eating or are planning to eat a particular day. Offering suggestions or nudging employees to choose healthy options is ideal, instead of dictating their lifestyle choices when it comes to food.