March is Nutrition Month in Canada, a time to remember to take care of our families and ourselves by engaging in healthy eating habits. This year’s theme is Unlock the Potential of Food: Find a Dietitian. Dietitians are being encouraged to plan events that address the needs of the clients they serve and showcase how finding a dietitian can help Canadians unlock the potential of food.
Now is also a perfect opportunity for employers to kick-start nutrition initiatives and campaigns in their workplace. Promoting nutrition helps motivate employees to adopt healthy eating habits at work, improving employee health and productivity. Providing employees access to nutrition services can also help save employers money by reducing health related low productivity and decreasing disability days.
Eating healthy at work is a challenge for many employees often limited by time, availability of food, and a lack of knowledge around what constitutes a healthy meal. It’s easy to be tempted by fast food and snacks that satisfy hunger in the moment, but these are often unhealthy choices with high levels of sugar, salt, and fat. It’s important to be aware of the various dietary requirements for a balanced diet, such as vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fibre.
Eating healthy at work requires planning ahead and it’s never too late for employers to step in to support these daily habits.
Here are four ways to promote nutrition in the workplace:
More Canadians are making smarter food choices and are interested in better nutrition, but provincial health plans don’t provide enough coverage. Also, many wellness strategies in the workplace focus on fitness initiatives such as gym memberships but don’t focus enough on nutrition. Employers can look to fill these gaps and offer nutrition care through employee health benefits, a health spending account, or as part of a workplace wellness program.
All major direct-claim platforms cover dietitian services, and these can be easily added to benefits offerings. If you already offer nutrition services, keep in mind that some employees may not be aware of the expertise available to them. Be sure to remind them that your organization provides access to professional nutrition services.
Promoting healthier eating habits among employees leads to a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce. To learn more about how you can optimize support for nutrition in your benefits offerings, please contact us. We can help you and your team determine how to help your employees along their journey to better health.