Food for Thought: How Does Nutrition Affect Small Businesses?

Nutrition can affect many aspects of our lives including our quality of sleep, our emotional well-being and our ability to perform in the workplace.  Employers and small business owners can take steps to boost brain power during work hours.  A 2005 study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) showed that dietary habits directly affect productivity levels. The World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted studies that produced similar findings. Ingesting too many processed foods and not enough fruits, vegetables, and water can leave employees working at only a fraction of their capacity. Eating power foods can provide higher levels of productivity, feeding our brains and bodies in a healthy way.

The food you eat plays a big role in how you feel while on the job. What does this mean for a start-up business or a small business that employs 1-10 people? It means that dietary choices will directly affect the quality of employee performance. Depending on the work day schedule and structure of your office, breakfast, snacks and lunch may be provided or brought in for the group to enjoy as a whole. Every “treat” is an opportunity to make a healthier choice that will increase performance levels.

There are better food choices that can stimulate the brain and boost energy levels.


·    For example, instead of keeping a candy dish in the office, keep a fruit bowl.

·     Instead of stocking the goody cabinet with chips or other salty snacks, provide nuts, seeds or grains.


·   Instead of doughnuts, try multigrain bagels with honey and peanut butter.


·    NO MORE SODA/POP! 100% pure fruit juice, tea and water are much better choices.


·   When ordering out for lunch, choose veggies instead of starches.


·   Instead of creating a buffet table of pizza varieties, provide the makings of a mini salad bar.   

As the leader of your staff you will set the tone for a healthier lifestyle. The result will be happier, healthier employees who are able to maximize their potential.