How you work and lead
A workplace's culture around food can have a big impact on what and how a person eats and drinks during their work day - and even away from work.
This is the area businesses can have the most impact in guiding their people towards a healthy food culture.
Adopt healthy catering guidelines. These can apply to on-site cafés or canteens, vending machines, and food your workplace provides at meetings and events. See the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Food and Drink Policy for Organisations for help. Also see the Heart Foundation’s healthy catering resources or its Guidelines for Providing Healthier Cafeteria Food.
If you have drinks other than water available, make sure they include low or no-sugar drink options – see the Health Promotion Agency's guide for providing healthier beverage options in your workplace.
Consider subsidising healthy options in the staff café.
Organise healthy food deliveries. If people can’t easily buy healthy food near work, consider taking orders and getting deliveries from a local café or caterer.
Promote activities that encourage healthy food, such as healthy food team challenges, healthy recipe collections and swaps, and healthy breakfast clubs.
Regularly include healthy food information/recipes/advice/links in staff communications.
Support breastfeeding in the workplace. See this employers' guide to breastfeeding in the workplace and consider applying for certification as a breastfeeding-friendly workplace.
Work spaces and facilities
Think about how your workplace environment could make it easier for people to eat well at work.
If you have vending machines or snack boxes on site, consider removing them or stock them with healthy options.
Provide attractive, comfortable and well-resourced facilities for staff to store, prepare and eat food.
Have water coolers, chilled water bottles or containers available to give people easy access to 100% water.
Subscribe to healthy food magazines for staff to read during breaks.
Provide areas for breastfeeding mothers to feed or pump and store breastmilk.
Got some spare grass? Allow staff to grow vegetables and fruit.
Put up posters and information promoting healthy food choices and nutritional information in staff break and work areas.
Put up posters advertising upcoming awareness campaigns that support eating healthily.
Businesses can also take action to help their people make positive changes to their own food choices.
Establish a regular healthy shared lunch so people can swap healthy food and healthy food ideas – get some ideas at myfamily.kiwi.
Work with staff to start a healthy breakfast club.
Include healthy recipes in staff communications and encourage staff to share them.
Hold regular learning lunches for staff, including topics such as food safety, how to read food labels, cooking for kids, understanding the new Health Star Rating for packaged food.
Promote eating well by putting up posters and putting out pamphlets in break rooms that educate and inspire workers to eat healthily.
Download/order in hardcopy and distribute the Ministry of Health's Eat Healthy Food and Move More Every Day brochure.
Hold a competition for the healthiest, tastiest recipe from staff, then compile a recipe book from the contributions.
Offer cooking classes to teach staff healthy recipes – comes with a side dish of team building!
Encourage participation in local and national healthy eating initiatives, such as 5+ a Day.
Who can support you to help your people eat well
Below are some organisations to help you help your people to learn how to eat well.
WorkWell is a free, workplace wellbeing initiative that supports workplaces to ‘work better through wellbeing’. Developed by Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service, WorkWell can be adapted to any workplace and is available in various regions across New Zealand.
Auckland Regional Public Health Service
The Workplace Health and Wellbeing team at the Auckland Regional Public Health Service are able to give technical advice and guidance on health and wellbeing in the workplace. The team can support workplaces with best practice advice, tools and free programmes in the Auckland region.