Posted by Kristen Pufahl
Have you ever sat at your computer and thought, "I am really stressed and could use a break right now?" Thanks to the efforts of Healthy JF&CS, our worksite wellness initiative that encourages employees to be healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually, staff members can receive chair massages at the office, take part in a walking group, contribute to the office garden, or practice yoga.
March celebrates National Nutrition Month®, a nutrition information and education campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). To celebrate, Healthy JF&CS is sponsoring two events for staff: a nutrition education program and a healthy recipe share.
One of the goals of Healthy JF&CS is to increase healthy eating behaviors of staff. During a "Lunch & Learn" staff can come and learn about the new Choose MyPlate government recommendations. Per Choose MyPlate recommendations, participants will learn how to fit more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into their diet in an economical way.
Healthy JF&CS will be inviting staff members to submit favorite family recipes that meet nutrition criteria for good health. These recipes will then be printed throughout the year in the staff newsletter and will be shared with clients of the agency. Each staff member who submits a recipe that meets the guidelines will be entered into a raffle to win a $50 gift certificate to Trader Joe's.
The benefit of Healthy JF&CS is two-fold: Promoting a healthy workplace means not only helping staff be healthier, but also increasing the capacity of staff to apply these messages to working with clients. Ellen Fishman, director of Schechter Holocaust Services and member of the Healthy JF&CS committee, said, "Being a member of the committee is a consciousness raising experience. It's terrific to have such a wide range of opportunities offered to our staff. At the same time it constantly reminds me how important these activities also are for my clients, elderly Holocaust survivors who often do not have access to the same kind of initiatives that could be very helpful to them. It is imperative for us as staff to think about these issues and to make that access more available to our clients."
Kristen Pufahl is a licensed, registered dietitian working in the JF&CS Nutrition Services program. In addition to her work counseling clients, training staff, and running programs in the community, she chairs the Healthy JF&CS committee. She also teaches nutrition at Boston University.