Too many times we forget the impact that simple gestures can make – a kind word, a lending ear, a comforting hug, or a warm and simple smile. We often forget that these simple things actually have the power to turn lives around and make someone’s day brighter. This is exactly why National Random Acts of Kindness Day is being celebrated – to encourage everyone to spread kindness. [Read more…]
World Food Day is observed on the 16th of October each year. This day is celebrated to honor the date when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was founded in 1935. It is also recognized to raise awareness about hunger, as well as encourage the public to take action is to help eliminate world hunger.
The World Food Day is celebrated by organizing food drives and distributing free meals for the homeless and less fortunate. If you have the heart to participate in this holiday, here are some of the ways you can take a stand against hunger and make a difference.
Take a photo of your meal and share it on social media
If you think taking photos of your sumptuous meals and uploading them on the social media is meaningless, then you have been thinking wrong. By sharing photos of your meals, you are also literally sharing your food. All you have to do is to download FoodShareFilter or Feedie. Both applications were designed to help fight global hunger. Every time photos of food are shared using the app, the restaurant donates a meal to an organization called the Lunchbox Fund that provides meals for orphaned children in South Africa.
Everybody celebrates Independence Day in July. But, what many people don’t know is that we also celebrate National Picnic Month in July, too! Going for a picnic is an excellent time to embrace nature and breathe in fresh air. It is also a great opportunity to bond with friends, family and loved ones. While a picnic is understood as a simple excursion with meals eaten outdoors, there are some interesting facts about the origin of picnic that not many of us are aware of.
- The word picnic was taken from the French word “pique nique” which refers to an outdoor meal. The first picnics took place in the Middle Ages when the members of the upper class society would “dine out” or eat their meals outdoors during a hunt.
- The first recorded use of “picnic”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was in a letter written by Lord Chesterfield to his son in Berlin in 1748. The word picnic here was used in the sense of a social gathering.
- In the early 1800’s, picnic was already being used to refer to a social meal eaten outdoors.
Celebrating National Nutrition Month gives businesses the opportunity to share the latest research in healthy eating and lifestyle habits. It also provides a means of encouraging everyone to be more healthy, in a fun and engaging way.
Is everyone at your office is already focused on eating better and exercising? There’s still always something new to learn about nutrition! Read through the following suggestions for some ideas on how your team can celebrate National Nutrition Month this year.
A contest is a great way to get people talking about nutrition.
One idea – send out a daily email with a question about nutrition. Collect the right responses, then at the end of the month hold a drawing for the winner(s). T-shirts, drinking cups, pens, pencils, magnets, etc. which promote healthy living are good options for prizes.
Hold a healthy recipe contest among employees. Ask for volunteer judges among upper management and award prizes to the winner(s).
Set up a “real food” challenge. Give rewards (e.g. healthy cookbook, paid time off, etc.) at the end of the month for the employee(s) who brought in – and ate – a healthy lunch the most days of the month.
Potlucks and taste testing
Bring bite size pieces of common and unique vegetables and fruits into the breakroom. Ask everyone to vote on their favorites, then post the results on a tally board to see which foods are the winners.
If your work environment is culturally diverse, ask everyone to bring in their favorite ethnic dishes for a company potluck. Ask the cooks to bring in the recipes for sharing with their co-workers.
Invite knowledgeable guests, such as a cookbook author or nutritionist to your workplace. Have an interactive question and answer session to discuss the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Set up a cooking demo with a restaurant chef or an educator from a nearby culinary school. Include recipes which employees can use in their own homes.
Invite a local fitness or yoga instructor to come and discuss fitness topics. Tips for effective workouts, when to eat, and the impact of healthy eating on weight loss efforts are all helpful topics. Hand out pedometers, t-shirts and/or water bottles to encourage everyone to get more active.
Change the environment
Instead of donuts or sugary muffins, bring fruits, veggies and/or trail mix into the meeting room instead.
Does your office have vending machines? Replace the current selections with healthier choices. Include trail mix, dried fruit, low-sugar energy bars, etc. Make sure to place them at eye level. Stock the less healthy choices at the bottom of the selection list.
Instead of soda machines, fill up the breakroom refrigerator with both filtered and flavored waters.
If you have a cafeteria, make healthy food choices easily accessible. Place the less healthy options where they’re harder to find. Label food choices by color. Use green for the most healthy selections, yellow for moderately healthy, and red for the least healthy options.
Encourage everyone to find ways to be active and eat healthy. Give prizes for the most flights of stairs walked or the most servings of vegetables eaten in a week.
Keep healthy snacks on hand at all times. Choose low processed foods such as trail mix, nut butters, dried fruit, fresh fruit, veggies with hummus or plain, low-fat yogurt. They keep hunger at bay and provide energy to get through the day.
When healthy eating and movement are structured into the workplace, employees will naturally gravitate towards making better choices both at work and at home. This leads to healthier, happier employees. It also is a good return on the company’s investment in their employees’ well being.
The first National Snack Food Month was celebrated in February 1989. It was initiated by the Snack Food Association and National Potato Promotion Board. The intent is to build snack food awareness and increase consumption of snack foods during a time when their sales are typically low.
Snack food doesn’t have to mean “junk” food
Are you and your team among the thousands of Americans trying to find balance in their eating habits? You may decide to skip the celebration, but why not choose guilt-free snack food instead?
Instead of boxes of little donuts or bags of greasy chips – or in addition to, no judgment here – add a wide variety of healthy foods that everyone can enjoy.
Here’s how to celebrate National Snack Food Month with your co-workers:
Plan your snacks
Are you the team manager, company owner and/or the person who’s been nominated to the task? Put together a quick list of possible fun and healthy snack ideas, print it out, and send it around the office for everyone’s input.
Focus on color, crunch and healthy fats
What makes a delicious snack? When coming up with your initial list of snack food ideas, remember — you and your peers may think very differently!
In addition to including special requests made by your co-workers, pull together a variety of healthier options that most people will enjoy.
Non perishable snack ideas
These snacks can be added to desk drawers or the break-room cupboards – perfect for those quick “working at my desk” moments in busy work environments.
- Whole wheat crackers
- Rice crackers
- Microwave popcorn
- Trail mix – commercial or homemade
- Chex mix
- Canned fruit
- Dried fruit
- Nuts and/or nut butters
- Peanut butter
Perishable snack ideas
While the non-perishable snacks are a great way to break an afternoon slump, sometimes you need just a little bit more:
- Dips – cheese, cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream with ranch dressing mix, hummus
- Fresh fruit – grapes, bananas, oranges, etc. make a great snack. Save time with pre-cut fruit at your neighborhood grocer.
- Low fat cottage cheese in individual packaging
- Low fat, low sugar yogurts
- Sliced bell peppers
- Snap peas
Keep calories in mind
Yes, calories do matter, even if they’re from a healthy source.
Post a helpful resource list of the calories found in your office snacks where everyone can see it, such as the shared refrigerator or bulletin board.
Try to keep your own calories consumed from any snacks at the office to between 100 and 200 calories. Save them for those times you’re really hungry as opposed to just bored or stressed.
For the longest staying power, combine a protein with a carbohydrate whenever possible.
Keep it going
If National Snack Food Month has you and your co-workers eating healthier snacks this February, don’t stop now!
Avoid the nasty side effects from unhealthy fare such as weight gain and/or low energy. Continue to keep a variety of healthy snacks on hand to power you and your co-workers through the year!