Posted by Kristen Pufahl, Registered Dietitian

Earlier this year, employees at JF&CS created a Healthy JF&CS workplace wellness committee based on staff interest in making some changes at the agency. A healthy workplace can have many benefits to both employee and employer: helping to lower insurance premiums; providing staff with resources, guidance, and motivation for a healthy lifestyle; reducing absenteeism; lowering stress; and being kind to the environment.

On Thursday, November 11, the Healthy JF&CS committee presented at "Schmear & Schmooze," a monthly staff breakfast. Staff members who came to the presentation were surprised to find more than just the usual bagels and cream cheese. Attendees were excited to try a variety of nut butters (even on the same bagel), and a "yogurt bar" complete with several types of yogurt, nuts, seeds, and a gorgeous fruit salad. One employee who did not attend the event said she would have come if she had known there would be such a great variety of food!

Employees from five different JF&CS departments spoke about their various endeavors as part of the committee, ranging from healthy changes to the vending machine offerings to walking and biking groups to gardening and composting programs. Attendees were happy to hear that healthy food options would be added at meetings; one employee stated that it felt "psychologically right" that the committee would not be eliminating any current food offerings that people were used to and liked.

There was great energy in the room. Attendees were appreciative that the committee has already made many changes that provide healthy options during the course of the workweek…and excited that more are on the horizon.

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 groups, she chairs the Healthy JF&CS committee. She received her BS in Business Administration from Georgetown University and her MS in Nutrition from Boston University.