Washington State Nutrition & Physical Activity Plan
Nutrition Obj. 1: Priority Recommendation B
Assure that worksites, including healthcare services and schools, provide healthy foods and beverages.

Most adult Americans spend a substantial part of their time at work, so increasing the intake of healthy foods is a promising way to improve access to healthy foods. Employees say they want healthier vending and cafeteria choices.(1) Changing the variety, labeling and pricing of foods and providing protected time for lunch can make a difference.(2,3)

Graph of Food Policies in Worksites

Examples of Activities

Provide healthier snacks in vending machines.

Healthy vending initiatives are successful when they provide a variety of tasty and popular healthy items, use motivational/promotional signage, label healthy items, and reduce the price of healthier options.(4,5) Clark County Community Choices 2010 is working to achieve a healthier mix of food and beverage selections in the area's vending machines. In Clark County, a team that includes vending industry, school, and worksite partners has piloted Fit Pick™, a healthy vending program that will be implemented throughout the county.

Provide health-promoting foods in worksite cafeterias.
Swedish Medical Center offers a wide variety of fresh vegetables, grains, and protein/lean meat choices for lunch and dinner. Each healthy choice is available a la carte or a guest can take a 15-percent discount from the cost of the meal if they choose a balanced plate with one grain, one vegetable, one lean meat, and sauce. Swedish’s food service sources 60 different fresh vegetables locally that added up to nearly 3000 total cases of product in 2007. SEH America, a supplier of silicon wafers to the semiconductor industry launched a workplace wellness program in 2007. Among other wellness initiatives, the Vancouver, Washington-based company created an on-site cafeteria for the 1000 plus employees and contractors. They selected a vendor that offered a variety of quality and healthy food options that would appeal to the company’s diverse population. Everyday items include salads, soups, hot cereals, and fruit/vegetable snack packs. Hot entrée choices often include fish, steamed vegetables, and whole grains.
Provide health-promoting foods at meetings and workshops.

Washington State Department of Health (DOH) modified policy procedures to encourage meeting planners to “make the healthy choice the easy choice” at meetings and events. Meeting planners at DOH use Energize Your Meetings to plan nutritious meals and physical activity at each event. King County and Clark County also encourage the use of healthy meeting guidelines for meetings and events.