Best practices for a healthy worksite: Promote a healthy holiday season

Happy Halloween! In celebration of this sugar-filled holiday, here are a few tips on how to promote healthy holiday behaviors at your worksite. Take these tips to heart. Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

People often eat more than they intend to during the holidays. This may be due to the festive mood or pressure from family and friends. As coworkers celebrate with each other and share favorite recipes, the workplace can fill up with delicious pitfalls.

Here are some ideas for navigating potentially difficult eating situations during the holidays — especially those at the workplace.

  • Lead a healthy holidays initiative. Use the communication outlets available to you to encourage healthy behaviors in the workplace and at home. Think creatively and generate excitement around the office. Encourage social support by enlisting the help of coworker volunteers.
  • Use positive reinforcement. Take a fun and encouraging approach to health. Don’t impose strict guidelines. Encourage a culture of health that avoids criticizing office-mates’ desires for a seasonal sugar rush.
  • Seek out ways to educate employees on staying healthy over the holidays. Include health tips in your monthly newsletter and post them around the worksite. Invite employees to meet to share strategies for staying healthy during the holidays.
  • Draft holiday food guidelines to help keep holiday fare healthier. If you have a workplace potluck, encourage people to bring more veggie-based dishes and set a limit on the number of desserts. Also, encourage the idea of bringing healthy versions of traditional holiday favorites.
  • Hold a contest. Encourage a bit of healthy rivalry among co-workers. Host a healthy holiday bake-off, awarding prizes for the best recipes.
  • Host a healthy food drive. Many people look for ways to give back to the community during this time of year. Host a food drive that gathers healthy options for those in need.
  • Lead by example. The best way to encourage employees to follow healthy eating guidelines is to involve the management team as much as possible. And, of course, ensure your own department is setting a good example.

Learn more about how your organization can build healthy nutrition options into your wellness culture.

About the author

Diana DuncanDiana Duncan, MS, RDN
Optum Prevention Solutions

As a lifelong athlete, Diana was inspired to pursue a career in health promotion and nutrition. She obtained her B.S. in Dietetics from Southeast Missouri State University and went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Nutrition at Southern Illinois University. After teaching health and nutrition at a university in Missouri, she joined Optum as an on-site registered dietitian nutritionist in 2011 and has enjoyed educating and encouraging clients to pursue and reach their health goals. She confidently advocates that a healthy and active lifestyle empowers a person to reach their ultimate potential in life. Diana is passionate about encouraging individuals to recognize the rewards of personal health and wellness.

 

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