8 ways to love your lunchtime

Healthy eating at work

Earlier this year many of you clicked through to read our 7 ways to start the day right article on why a healthy breakfast is important for the productivity of staff.

In this article, we’ll be sharing the importance of lunch and what you can do to support your staff to eat right, so they’re fresh for the afternoon.

Why lunch is important for productivity?

We’re all guilty of grabbing some lunch at our desks or even of skipping lunch altogether, but evidence shows that our eating habits affect our performance. If we don’t eat regular, well-balanced meals or drink enough water, we could be prone to headaches, feel sluggish or have difficulty concentrating.

Lunch breaks are also the ideal time to recharge your batteries by getting some fresh air, taking a walk and getting active. The County Sports Partnership Network, our partners for the Workplace Challenge, recently reported that the UK’s culture of not taking a lunch break is damaging the nation’s health.

Love your lunchtime

To help you promote good eating habits to your staff, we’ve provided you with our eight top tips, focusing on that all-important lunch break, so staff feel empowered to make the healthy choice:

Female eating salad
  1. Promote the weekly lunch menu with plenty of notice. Use a variety of methods such as posters and the intranet to allow staff to plan well in advance.
  2. Make sure there are enough knives and forks, glasses and microwaves. Hunting for cutlery can easily put people off bringing in their own lunch.
  3. Showcase a different Heart Matters recipe every week for staff to try. All our recipes can be scaled up to be used by caterers as well.
  4. Ask caterers to clearly state nutritional values on food choices and include a heart healthy option when planning their menus.
  5. Build in breaks for shift workers. Just because it may not be lunchtime, it doesn’t mean staff won’t need a break. Plan breaks into shifts in advance so people know when time has been allocated for their break.
  6. Run a learning session for staff. You could invite a speaker or use our Healthy eating workshops and How healthy is your diet questionnaire. You could also run one of our healthy eating challenges. Try the Hydration challenge, Waist watchers challenge, plus many more.
  7. Give staff the flexibility to go out or get active during their lunch break. For more information visit the Workplace Challenge website.
  8. Lead by example! Workplace culture is so important in enabling people to take time out. Get started by taking your own lunch break to empower others to do the same.

Read up on healthy eating at work

For more ideas on what your workplace can implement to support your staff to eat well, order our Health at Work toolkit which includes a Healthy eating booklet. Visit the Eat Well section of our website where you can get lots more information and browse our Eat well challenges.

For a full list of our resources to support health and wellbeing in your workplace, take a look at our resources catalogue.

More useful information