Nutritional behavior change can be directly influenced by resources available in the workplace. Because adults spend the majority of their day at work, it is applicable to focus on nutritional influences within the workplace that affect the overall health and wellbeing of its constituents. By offering nutritious foods to employees, a worksite has the ability to maintain healthy employees, which has the potential to influence nutritional behavior outside of work.

CDC’s Healthy Food Service Guidelines is a gold standard resource that can be used when developing your own nutrition policies in your worksite. These guidelines provide information to show why providing healthy choices is recommended and how to enable sustainable choices in the workplace, including worksites and hospitals. The guidelines address vending machines, meeting and event, sodium reduction, and improving the overall food environment in your workplace.


A good place to start is with vending machines in your workplace. Encourage your employer to have healthy options in your vending machines. Some examples include, yogurt, apples, string cheese, pre-packaged sandwiches, and granola bars. Reduce the availability of candy, chips, and other less nutritious choices. The following resources provide guidance on vending machine guidelines and policy:


Another central location for food in the workplace is during meetings. Often meetings are catered or food is provided to employees. Help make your workplace healthier by encouraging your employer to provide healthy food options and appropriate portion sizes. Opt for sandwiches, veggie trays, salads and soups instead of fried chicken or pastries.

  • The Utah Department of Health has a healthy food policy for meetings.
  • The American Cancer Society has a tool to help companies organize meetings and events with health in mind.
  • University of Minnesota Public Health has created guidelines for offering Healthy Foods for meetings.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed Tips For Offering Healthier Options and Physical Activity at Workplace Meetings and Events where food or snacks might be served.
  • The North Carolina State Health Plan has developed the Eat Smart Workbook for worksites which includes guidelines for providing healthy food at meetings. This plan also includes healthy snacks and beverage guides for vending machines, sample workplace posters on nutrition, a sample healthy foods policy, and 42 examples of Eat Smart handouts for employees.
  • The Healthy Meeting Toolkit is new from the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) to help organizations plan healthy meetings.

Model Policies and Toolkits

Whether you are seeking to create a policy from scratch or assess the effectiveness of your policy, looking at what other organizations have implemented will be helpful for you. These resources will provide guidance when developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating a food policy:

Other Resources