Posted on July 13, 2017 at 4:24 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids
Many local restaurants offer convenient and affordable delivery options for "catering" a lunch event at the office. If your workplace relies on this type of food service, the following tips can help everyone eat healthier.
Choose buffet style over boxed lunches
Boxed lunches typically include a sandwich, chips, dessert, and a piece of fruit. Limiting selection in this way often means that individuals eat larger portions than they'd choose for themselves. Plus, colleagues that don't like the featured fruit get no fruit at all.
Buffet style, on the other hand, usually offers enough variety for everyone to find something healthy they like to eat and enables colleagues to control their own portion sizes.
Call the restaurant to place your order
When you speak with a restaurant employee instead of ordering online, you have more flexibility to customize your order. You may find that you can substitute a side salad for chips, for example, or specify that you want only baked varieties of chips. You might also ask:
- Can you provide all condiments and salad dressings on the side?
- Can you provide a tray of lettuce, sliced tomatoes, or other vegetable toppings that individuals can add to their sandwich or entree?
- Do you offer a bite-sized or mini dessert option?
- Can you cut full size sandwiches and desserts in half?
Cut it yourself
If the restaurant is unable to provide smaller portions by cutting sandwiches and desserts in half, consider ordering fewer of these items and halving them once they arrive. You'll find that many people consume a smaller portion this way, enabling you to save money on food costs.
If you are ordering from a sub shop, consider getting the giant sub and cutting it into smaller portions. If you order pizza, ask for it to be "square cut"—sometimes also referred to as the "party cut" or "Chicago cut"—to encourage smaller portions.
Supplement with fresh produce
Consider supplementing your order with a few items from the grocery store: a vegetable tray with dip as a side, or a fruit and cheese tray for dessert.
Want to add that veggie or fruit tray but with the convenience of delivery? Grocery delivery options are available in central Indiana through Instacart and Shipt as well as retailers including Peapod, Green BEAN Delivery, and Amazon Prime Now.
You can also arrange for easy pick-up on your way into the office at retailers including Kroger, Meijer, and Walmart. Ask your favorite grocery chain what options are available.
Make it easy for staff
Provide staff members who frequently order meals for office events with a list of approved restaurants and suggested menu choices. Share the tips in this post with them.
You don't have to try all the suggestions at once—choose one or two strategies to test at your next meeting. Try some other strategies across a period of time that makes sense for your organization. Small, steady improvements help everyone make healthier choices at lunchtime.
Get even more tips and suggestions in our guide, 4 Strategies to Increase Healthy Eating in the Workplace.