Promoting Wellness With Nutrition

A healthy diet is the cornerstone of any wellness goal or initiative. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, eating healthy can reduce the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and several types of cancer, along with helping maintain a healthy body weight.

How can employers help employees incorporate nutrition into their daily lives?  Check out the easy-to-implement program and incentive ideas below. 

Activities and Programs

  • Healthy lunch potluck. Have participants bring healthy dishes to share (and also bring copies of the recipe!).
  • Bake sale. Employees can contribute their favorite healthy baked goods recipes, and proceeds can go to your wellness program budget.
  • Nutrition Lunch & Learn. Host a lunch where you can teach employees about healthy eating, including proper portion sizes and examples of nutritious snacks and meals.
  • Summertime garden share. Have participants bring fresh produce from their gardens to trade. Also consider providing educational classes, both with tips for current gardeners and suggestions for beginners who want to start growing their own produce.
  • Sufficient breaks. Provide protected time and space away from the work area for meal breaks.
  • Make water available. If employees have easy access to water throughout the day, they may be less likely to drink other, less healthy beverages.


  • Coupons to a farmer’s market. Help employees take advantage of your local farmer’s market. Stalls full of farm-fresh produce will entice even fast-food junkies.
  • Healthy food gift basket. Fill baskets with seasonal fruit and vegetables, whole grain treats and a fruit and nut trail mix.
  • Healthy cooking class. Many who want to cook healthy meals don’t know how. When they learn how simple and delicious healthy meals can be, they will be inspired to regularly cook nutritious meals. Contact local businesses for discounts.
  • Healthy meals cookbook. A variety of cookbooks focus on limiting fat, carbohydrates, salt and sugar, along with offering tips for healthy cooking and eating. Consider giving away these cookbooks as a prize for wellness participation or as a gift to employees to encourage nutritious eating.
  • Gift certificate for a health-conscious restaurant. Find a restaurant that provides healthy meal options. Reward an employee who is participating in your wellness events with a gift certificate for lunch or dinner.
  • Participation rewards. Provide incentives, such as water bottles or health insurance discounts for participation in nutrition-based activities or programs.