Big news! My kiddo is almost TWO years old (they really do grow up fast!) and will be starting pre-school in a couple of weeks. I’m thrilled and terrified at the same time. It means Burrito will make friends with other toddlers and can learn and play with them on a daily basis. Plus, it means I’ll have more time to work on the blog and other projects I have lined up. But, it also means a bit of separation anxiety (mostly on my end!), dealing with potty training in a new environment, and an introduction to the world of food outside the home. Eeeek! I knew this day would come eventually and I’m trying not to stress out about it. Don’t get me wrong, Burrito has certainly had his fair share of pizza and ice cream, but I like to be in control of what’s offered and when. He’ll be attending a fairly progressive school, and the lunch menu seems reasonably healthy, so I’m hoping the snacks follow suit as well. But if they don’t…
Luckily, one of my favorite bloggers and registered dietitians, Sally Kuzemchak just released her e-book The Snacktivist’s Handbook: How to Change the Junk Food Snack Culture at School, in Sports, and at Camp – and Raise Healthier Snackers at Home. Sally’s e-book arms you with everything you need to help change the junk food snack culture everywhere our kids learn and play. It includes sample e-mails and tons of printables that make it easy to take action…instead of just sitting on the sidelines and complaining. In true Real Mom Nutrition fashion, Sally’s tips and tricks on becoming a snacktivist are totally approachable and level-headed, so you won’t feel like the “crazy” parent who wants to ruin all the fun. I’m so glad to have this resource in my toolbox and am extremely thankful that Sally took the time to put it together for all of us parents who want to set our kids up for a healthy start.
[Disclosure: I received a copy of The Snacktivist’s Handbook for my contribution to the e-book, but all opinions are my own.]
Oh! And did I mention that the e-book includes an excerpt for me? I was so excited when Sally asked about my experience in corporate wellness and I’m happy to share a few tips for workplace snacktivism here on the blog as well (because parents want better-for-you snacks too!).
4 Tips for Successful Workplace Snacktivism
- Consolidate Cakes. Suggest a monthly office birthday party. For example, on the first Friday of every month, organize a gathering with one cake to celebrate everyone who has a birthday that month. That way, employees are still recognized for their special day, but without a cake for each individual birthday.
- Find out who’s in charge. Find out who orders food for office meetings and the worksite kitchen or pantry. See if they are willing to consider healthier options. If the company uses outside vendors (as most do for vending machines), identify what choices are available and if they can swap out some of the indulgent items for healthier ones. If there are particular brands or better-for-you vending items you know of, suggest them to the vending company. They may be willing to stock them if they know customers are interested.
- Get support from higher-ups. Gaining the support of bosses higher up in the food chain is essential. At one of my previous jobs, the health and wellness team went through the process of changing vending machines offerings only to have them vetoed by the CEO! Set up meetings and see if the support is there before putting in hours of work.
- Consider the bottom line. When proposing changes, have pricing and ROI (return on investment) information whenever possible. Vendors and management are more likely to respond positively to changes if the alternatives will also save the company money.