Employees spend almost one third of their day working at the company. This means that many of them could be eating two major meals of the day (breakfast and lunch) at the company. At work, employees are working under stress and also feel some exhaustion from time to time, both physically and mentally. Studies show that stress increases the desire to eat in people and they most often pick up high fat or sugary foods. Hence, making the choice of wrong foods at the company cafeteria during those times can be detrimental to their health, well being and productivity. In the long run, regular consumption of such foods can result in health complications like being overweight or obese, increased risk of diabetes and hypertension, increased lipid levels, etc.
Today, cafeterias in the offices provide a variety of food options to their employees. The priority of the cafeteria at the work site is to provide food that the employees will buy and not necessarily the food that will promote health, as the taste of the food is more prioritized over the nutrition of the food. We all know tasty food means a heavy usage of oil, butter, cream, mawa, salt, sugar etc in food. Employees eat almost daily either breakfast and lunch or atleast lunch at the company cafeteria. It is therefore very important that there are healthy and nutritious options made available to them.
How will providing healthy food options benefit a workplace:
1. No afternoon slumps: We know that glucose is required by our brain to keep it functioning, alert and working throughout the day. Eating foods that are high in fat and sugar will make the stomach feel heavy thus making the person sluggish and sleepy. Hence, it is very important that a nutritious, light, and tasty afternoon lunch is available to fight the afternoon post lunch slump. This will also help in keeping away from the unwanted cups of coffee, tea and other options that one may seek immediately post lunch to fight the sluggishness.
2. Increase in Morale: Eating a healthy diet promotes emotional and physical well-being. Being happy and in a calm state of mind will help the employee develop positive relationship with colleagues and improve creativity in work as there will be minimum stress associated with work.
3. Less sick leaves: Healthy eating will ensure that the body gets all the nutrients that are necessary to build, improve and strengthen the immune system. Good immunity ensures good health and less sickness.
What can be done to have a cafeteria with healthy food options?
Today, corporate wellness programs designed by health care professionals include office cafeteria assessment and advices, planning of healthy menus with interesting recipes and having healthy eating talks for the employees to understand the importance health even at work.
So, what is done by these health care professionals? Cafe Nutritionist In Mumbai have health care professionals which include trained dieticians and nutritionists that assess the canteen menu run by external agencies, calculate the calories of the foods served in the menu and educate the employees on their nutrition quotient. Alternatively, they can also design nutritious and interesting menus keeping in mind the principals of meal planning. Planning of healthy snacks is also under the purview of the dietitians and nutritionists deployed at the company. Hence, the mid evening hunger pangs need not be dealt with the vada pavs, samosas, French fries, etc. Healthier options can be made available to the employees.
Companies today are waking up to the needs of the health conscious employees. The tea and coffee can be replaced by these employees with the green tea, lemon tea, buttermilk or herbal tea made available at the office. Furthermore, companies can stock the office vending machines with healthy snacks like makhanas, kurmura, jowar puffs, unfried peanuts, roasted chana, etc. to provide the employees with the healthy snacking options. Fruits can also be made available to the employees at the cafeteria to fight the mid evening hunger pangs.
Obesity, diabetes, and hypertension are the conditions that result mainly from following an unhealthy lifestyle and eating patterns. It is very important to take care of food consumed, whether at work place or at home. A corporate wellness program should aim at increasing productivity of the workforce and planning nutritionally balanced and tasty menus is an integral part of these programs.