Whenever our at-work TOPS chapter needs a little pick-me-up, I like to plan a healthy tasting. In the past, we’ve made our own salsa, sampled unique fruits and veggies and even tried blended spinach in a smoothie. The above picture is from our most-recent culinary adventure. We usually only have about two tastings a year but it’s a great way to get co-workers excited about healthy eating as well as open their minds (and taste buds) to new foods and flavors. If you’d like to help co-workers get jazzed about nutrition in 2015, here are tips for planning and hosting your own healthy tasting.
- Take nutritional sensitivities and allergies into consideration. Do you have employees who are vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free? Make sure your tasting has options so that all employees feel included.
- Survey employees to see what types of tastings interest them.
- If you’re planning on baking something in the oven or cooking something on the stove at work, be sure to do a quick test run prior to the tasting. All appliances tend to be a little different, and you don’t want to end up with a half-frozen, half-burnt mess when it’s time to have the tasting (speaking from personal experience).
- Stick with the tried and true. If you’ll be preparing food for employees, make sure it’s something you’ve tried previously and enjoy. That’s not to say employees will automatically enjoy, too, but at least there won’t be any “surprises.”
- Consider asking employees to volunteer to bring in an ingredient for the tasting. For example, you could have each participant bring in an ingredient to make a healthy salad. To make things easier for participants, make a list of healthy ingredients for them to choose from.
- If possible, share the nutrition facts (calories, fat grams, etc.) of everything you are sampling.
“Healthy eating” may not sound terribly exciting, but a tasting can be a great way to make choosing healthier options seem more fun, especially at a time of year when so many of us are watching our weight. Bon appétit!