September is not just back to school month. It is Fruit and Veggie – More Matters month. As much as 90% of adults aren’t getting the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.
What can we do in the workplace to help create awareness for increasing the amounts of fruits and vegetables in our diets? There are many things that can be done. Here are a few suggestions:
- Fruit and Veggie Awareness and Education. Help your employees understand the vital nutrition and health benefits of fruits and veggies and how to eat more. Use this guide from the Produce for Better Health Foundation for ideas. Provide information on pick-your-own farms, farmers’ markets, local food festivals and Agri-tourism to make learning about produce a fun family event. Use this Massachusetts Grown and Fresher map and website as references.
- Healthy Meeting and Event Policy. Adopt an organizational policy for serving healthy foods at all meetings and events catered by the organization. Train the individuals who order the food what constitutes healthy choices. Refer to the MA Department of Public Health Healthy Meeting Guidelines for details on how to get started.
- Offer a Community Supported Agriculture Benefit. Offering a benefit that give employees the option of buying fruits and vegetables from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) local farm. By becoming a CSA drop off, you can encourage employees to buy this seasonally or year round. Use this resource to find a CSA near your place of work
- Honor Bar. Replace the candy bowl with a fruit bowl. Use the bowl as an opportunity to build awareness for the variety of local and seasonally available fruits. Use this chart from the MA Department of Agricultural Resources to help you make your selections. Offer this as a free benefit to your employees or ask them to pay a small amount on an honor basis.
- Cooking Demonstration. Many people are reluctant to use fruits and vegetables in meal preparation because they don’t know how to cook these items. Invite a local chef to provide a cooking demonstration featuring seasonally available fruits and vegetables.
Everyone can benefit from more fruits and veggies in their diet. Use some of these easy approaches to make your workplace more fruit and veggie friendly.