We at Incentfit know that an office culture of wellness is the best way to not only attract top of the line employees, but also to keep staff productive and happy. Nutrition is incredibly important to maintaining optimal performance and mood throughout the day. However, promoting nutrition, and even hydration in your wellness program or through wellness incentives can be extremely challenging. We know the best way to create positive behavior change is to promote healthy activities, and then reward employees on a day-to-day basis for consistently completing those healthy activities. The problem with nutrition is that it’s nearly impossible to track and validate healthy eating. Yes, there’s food tracking apps like MyFitnessPal and LoseIt!, but food tracking is cumbersome and inaccurate. Most importantly, very few people actually stick with it. In this study that took a look at just under 200,000 food tracking app users, only 2.58% actively used their food tracking app after one week.
So what should you do? How do you promote healthy eating? How do you help employees avoid junk food? Here are our recommendations to promote a healthful diet both in and out of the office:
Provide healthy snacks
Healthy office snacks are a great way to help employees eat well. Most people prefer healthy food as long as it’s not inconvenient, expensive, or tasteless. Opt for minimally processed goodies, like long lasting fruit such as apples and oranges or easy to snack on vegetables such as baby carrots or celery. Other options involve nuts, oatmeal, and minimally processed granola bars such as KIND or Lara bars. All of these snacks are cost effective due to their long shelf life and high fiber content which will reduce the need for continued snacking. The fiber also provides a more stable energy source. Avoid providing chips, cookies, or candy except on special occasion. The high sugar content can cause energy crashes and decrease productivity. Most importantly, don’t just give employees a healthy option, make it the only option!
Look into health conscious catering
Many companies provide employees meals for special occasions such as monthly lunches and birthdays but in reality these events often encourage unhealthy food choices. Try to only offer healthy options when ordering for employees. If allowing employees to order for themselves, select restaurants with that focus on health and provide transparent nutritional information and ingredients. If ordering catering, limit popular unhealthy items such as pizza or deep fried foods. Grilled meats, vegetable sides, and complex carbs such as sweet potatoes, and brown rice aren’t loaded with empty calories, and also are great for employees that may have any dietary restrictions. If it’s a bit more expensive to get the healthy option, consider the cost of the food coma (and resulting productivity loss) that follows a high-calorie meal.
Providing healthy food in the office is swell, but what about employees that work remotely or don’t spend most of their time in the office? Offer subsidies to discount nutritional programs to promote proper nutrition outside of the office. Meal delivery services such as Blue Apron, or meal plan options such as Weight Watchers are a few that are both health conscious and aid with portion control. Incentfit makes offering these subsidies very easy. Contact us today to find out how to reimburse for healthy eating outside of the office without all the legwork.