Nutrition & Hydration Week (16th – 22nd March) aims to promote good practices in health and social care. However, the importance of eating and drinking well is relevant to all sectors. From an employers’ perspective, you can use the week to help inspire your team to fuel their body in the right ways – keeping their energy up and combatting health problems.
Poor nutrition and dehydration leads to a number of health issues. It leads to poor concentration, affects memory and even has a negative impact on your mood. For example, just a 1% drop in hydration can lead to over 10% drop in productivity.
Start the week off right by promoting healthy breakfasts. Make a pact for each department to eat breakfast together at work. Taking time to eat properly (versus a quick breakfast bar on the bus or at your desk) not only helps people appreciate the taste, it aids digestion. From porridge and fruit to a slice of peanut butter and toast, there are a range of simple and healthy breakfast ideas to choose from.
It’s time to talk about nutrition and hydration. Invite a guest speaker or wellbeing expert into your office to deliver a seminar on good nutrition. People learn differently. Some prefer to read about a topic, others are more engaged if they’re learning with others and listening to a speaker. Seminars can be a great way to appeal to a range of learning types – leading to instigating real change in an employee’s wellbeing.
Celebrate the middle of the working week by treating your team to free fruit. Fruit is a great way to help keep unhealthy snacking at bay. There are numerous health benefits to eating fruit. It’s high in vitamins and minerals, it’s a great source of fibre and it tastes good too. Studies show that over half of employees work more productively when they ate healthily. Get things off to a great start by providing free fruit!
It’s Thirsty Thursday! Did you know 60% of people in the UK drink one glass of water or less each day? The recommended amount is at least eight. Raise awareness of good hydration by installing water coolers or gifting your employees a new water bottle. You can even get these branded, so your employees become brand advocates whenever they carry their bottle.
You should also encourage employees to drink at least two litres of water each day. Put up posters in the kitchen and bathrooms as a reminder to keep drinking. Encourage employees to drink water rather than fizzy drinks, tea and coffee or alcohol.
Hold a Friday fuddle to bring the team together. There’s only one rule: the food has to be nutritious. This is a great way to “test” what your employees have learnt throughout the week. That means the cake and crisps are a big no-no. Swap them out for sweet popcorn and crudités!
Encourage employees to have a clean-eating weekend. Why not do a recipe swap on Friday afternoon? Ask employees to exchange favourite healthy recipes so the whole team is ready for the weekend!
Meal-prep for the week ahead! Encourage employees to use their new-found nutritional knowledge to prep a series of healthy meals for next week’s meals. This can include breakfast smoothies, rice bowls and batch-cook dinners such as veg chilli.
The main thing to remember is old habits do die hard. A week of prioritising nutrition and hydration is simply a novelty – albeit a great way to raise awareness and instigate change. The real challenge is incorporating new habits and routines into daily life. Research shows it takes around twelve weeks to form a new lifestyle habit, so encourage employees to make long-lasting change to their nutrition and hydration. As an employer, make sure you continue to train your team, provide the equipment and tools they need to improve their wellbeing and offer support within the workplace when necessary.
For assistance delivering your workplace wellbeing programme, get in touch with the We Are Wellbeing team.