Craving a Healthier Team
Beyond just fitness, the Intouch health and wellness program, Healthy You, focuses on all aspects of health. Because employees are passionate about what we do, they sometimes work long hours. When you combine that with busy home lives, they don’t always have the time they’d like to make healthy and delicious meals. We wanted to help change that by not only educating our associates on healthy eating, but also making it easy for them to adopt new habits.
Nutrition in Nuggets
"We didn’t start by expecting to change employees’ eating decisions," says Tracie Biggerstaff, media supervisor and Nutrition Committee leader. "We felt that we could help them learn how to incorporate some healthier habits into their everyday lives by providing information on how to make the right choices, even with a busy schedule."
As a result, one of the first things the committee did was bring in a dietician from Whole Foods for a lunch-and-learn on the four pillars of nutrition. The dietician gave insights on reading ingredient labels, eating whole foods and foods "closest to the ground." She also provided a cooking demonstration on how to make a nutritious quinoa salad. It was a big success.
A Special Cafeteria Plan
In addition to raising awareness of the simplicity of working more nutritious foods into everyday meal choices, we developed ways for employees to do so at work. So, the company converted one of the conference room suites into a "company cafeteria" and contracted with Company Kitchen to provide delicious and nutritious lunch options.
"Before, I have a feeling a lot of our folks took advantage of the vending machines for a quick lunch or snack," Tracie admitted. "I’m not even sure what was offered. But now, our mini-cafeteria stocks sandwiches on whole-grain bread, fresh fruit, yogurt and granola. Basically a whole host of delicious food options."
Like a school cafeteria, employees put money into their own "lunch accounts" and can grab a quick and filling lunch with a scan of their fingerprint. Plus, it’s easy to go onto the website to request specific options, like more vegetarian dishes.
Beyond the new cafeteria, the company brings in fresh fruit baskets every morning, too. With a different choice each day, the fruit goes fast. "You practically have to lurk around the front door to get anything on banana day," laughs Tracie.
Farm to Office
Intouch is also testing to see if a local co-op that provides door-to-door organic fruits and vegetables would be of interest to employees. The program allows Intouchers to order weekly fruit and veggies at a discount for use cooking at home. The goods are delivered to Intouch where employees pick them up before heading home in the evening. Already, more than 40 people have taken advantage of it during the pilot. Tracie expressed concern about overwhelming the co-op once they open the concept up to all employees. "I’m not sure how they’ll get it all delivered in one trip!"
The committee has plans to survey associates to see what other guests they might like to feature at future lunch and learns, and whether there are any interesting foods to feature at upcoming cooking demonstrations.
"I am so proud and surprised at how people are taking the next step to make healthy decisions, and how our company is helping people to improve their wellness. It’s so rewarding," Tracie adds.