Whether you planted an employee garden or are reaping the benefits of a local farmers’ market (a great idea for a weekly field trip, by the way), cooking your own meals is one of the best ways to improve overall well-being. But what happens if you’re not a great cook naturally or if you’ve run out of ideas on how to use all of that zucchini?

  1. Cooking lessons. Have a breakroom or an outdoor grill? Schedule an in-office or workplace cooking lesson. Most workplaces have great cooks among them, and the best ones rarely keep this fact hidden. Start up your workplace cooking lessons on the sly — by inviting a known, internal chef who makes lunches that no one could resist. Help the person determine a simple-to-create dish that’s healthy, wholesome, easy to fix, with resources available at work. Then promote the event with posters, flyers, emails and more. The best part? Anyone who attends can also try a sample (or cook along, space permitting). Rotate instructors weekly.
  2. Guest (professional) chef. Kick it up a notch by teaming with a local professional chef or cooking school to teach an onsite cooking class for employees. Try a theme — for example, easy to-go breakfasts, mess-free lunches, three ways to make leftovers more exciting, or how to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. You could also consider a half-day seminar with the chef/cooking school as an offsite, morale-building activity. Don’t know any chefs? Ask employees if they have connections or contact a local nutritionist and ask for recommendations.
  3. This week’s veggie is … Get everyone out of their food rut by featuring a veggie of the week. Post a photo or two on a company bulletin or message board and invite employees to share their favorite recipes that use the vegetable. That trip to the farmers’ market we mentioned earlier can also help you determine which vegetable to feature, although the supermarket’s weekly sales circular is another great way to decide. Mix it up occasionally by featuring a weird or exotic vegetable to ensure everyone is learning. Then start cooking!

Alsco’s list, 146 Ways to Achieve Employee Health and Wellness, is making us hungry! Fortunately, it’s also filled with great tips for getting in shape this summer. Thanks, Alsco, for letting us share your ideas!

cooking at work

Encourage employees to cook for themselves (and maintain better health) with these simple ideas.

Laura Lancaster, PHR, SHRM-CP

Author Laura Lancaster, PHR, SHRM-CP

Along with being a Master of Human Resources, Laura is a master of communicating and provides her clients with world-class customer service. She can really cut some rug on the country swing dance floor and enjoys musical theater in between motorcycle rides.

More posts by Laura Lancaster, PHR, SHRM-CP