For Moms and Dads, How to Feed and Be Healthy at Work
By Laura Cipullo, RD CDE CEDRD CDN
So we all know I am not nutritionally perfect despite the letters after my name. Yup, that’s right, even RD’s especially MOM RD’s who work full time have the same struggles as other parents. To be honest, many of my meals are at my desk and sometimes even during my session with clients (I only eat with certain clients who don’t mind me gobbling an egg salad sandwich and or those who can benefit from role modeling the art of eating all foods – while dropping half on my shirt;)). Do you find yourself in similar situations? I also remember my days working in the corporate world and even the hospital where everyone was gifted with food.
And what about snacks? Where do you eat snacks? Are you eating them mindfully?
Do you have coworkers who love to stock the office kitchen with chocolates or even keep them on their desk? Is it too easy to grab a handful of candy or pretzels as you walk by the kitchen? Yes, it is a challenge to be healthy in a world of endless food choices. Don’t get me wrong, I love food and love having choice in the food I eat and when I eat it. At the same time, eating at work is a challenge especially if we put our kids’ nutrition as priority (i.e. making them lunch but not ourselves – and yes I do this at times too.)
Here are some tips for moms and dads who are getting overwhelmed by choices especially food choices while at work. While a free meal at work sounds nice, these in-house office meals can often be the cause of blood sugar spikes and drastic downers often leading to unproductive employees. In fact, according to a recent article in the New York Post a study found “employees that stick to healthy foods throughout the day to be 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance.”
5 TIPS To Wellness at Work:
- Log whether you are eating for emotional, behavioral or physical reasons. You can find a log here.
- If you are eating for a nonphysical reason, decide if you truly want to eat due to stress, happiness or boredom.
- Put yourself first and pack lunch or get lunch at an outside vendor.
- Make a pact with yourself not to eat the office food – no matter what it is. This will help to prevent you from eating mindlessly or due to social pressure. Bring your own foods to work. And yes this could be cookies and milk. The point is you have made a thoughtful decision to include these food choices in your daily intake when you plan and pack.
- If you want to partake in an office celebration, promise yourself you will sit down with a cup of milk or tea and eat the cake as your afternoon snack while psychologically enjoying every bite.
- If you are waxing and waning over the decision to eat at the office, first try a drink of water or grab a cold seltzer as many times, dehydration and fatigue are triggering our walks to the refrigerator.
Pack Ahead of the Snack Attack
Another suggestion is to come armed with balanced snacks to avoid having to make choices in the office kitchens. To help, I’ve listed a few office snack favorites below:
- An apple and 12 nuts
- A snack bar like LÄRABAR or KIND Bar.
- Egg with a kick courtesy of Cooking Light
- Mini pitas with hummus courtesy of Cooking Light
- Crudité with chopped veggies and Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese with mandarin oranges
- Vanilla Greek Yogurt with a cookie crumbled on top
- Hot cocoa with a peanut butter pack (like Justin’s).
Do you have any tips or tricks to avoid mindless eating while working? We’d love to hear them!
To read more on my thoughts on eating in the office click here to be redirected to the New York Post article. And for more healthy office snack ideas, be sure to check out Cooking Light’s Healthy Office Snacks.