Policy Tools

Nutrition Policy Tools

Below are a number of resources, toolkits, and model policies to use as you develop your own worksite policy related to nutrition. 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.


Healthy Vending is a good place to start when considering a more healthy work environment. 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:

  • General Services Administration and Department of Health and Human Services with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated to create the Federal Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities to assist contractors in increasing healthy food and beverage choices and sustainable practices at federal worksites. It also helps worksites align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015.
  • Step by step instructions on how to work with second party vendors, and other state initiatives, review the Healthier Vending Machine Initiatives in State Facilities.
  • Public Health Law Center provides a great resource for implementing food procurement and vending policies.
  • Nutritional Environment Measures Survey-Vending (NEMS-V) has a calculator that will allow your institution to re-evaluate the nutritional value of items offered from the vending machine. Here is a link to the tutorial on how to use the calculator.

Often work meetings are catered or food is provided to employees. Do what you can to encourage 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 specific for your organization.

  • Improving the Food Environment is a great resource for conducting needs assessments, and how to properly adopt the policy in order to encourage all parties to adhere.
  • American Heart Association & American Stroke Association has everything you will need, from implementing healthy foods in your vending machines, to healthy meetings, to overall health in the workplace.
  • Healthier Worksite Initiative provides program design planning tools, assessments, implementation strategies, and evaluation.
  • Leading by Example: The Value of Worksite Health Promotion to Small- and Medium-sized Employers (2011) published by the Partnership for Prevention provides best practices and strategies for creating or enhancing a worksite health promotion program as well as worksite health program descriptions from almost 20 small employers.
  • Diverse Model Policy for Healthy Lifestyles can be applied to nutrition, physical activity, and breastfeeding resources.
  • Promoting Healthy Eating has a worksite nutrition environment assessment measures on pp 16-18.
  • For additional resources, the National Healthy Worksite Program provides a list if you are in need of further information.

Other Resources

  • For outreach initiatives, 10 reasons to offer healthier options, is a great resource which will allow for agencies to quickly understand why healthier options are important.
  • The Dietary Guidelines from Americans, 2015 published every 5 years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides guidelines on best dietary habits to promote health and prevent disease.

Physical Activity Policy Tools

Below are a number of resources to use as you develop your own worksite policy related to physical activity.

  • Partners for a Healthy City created a Walk It Guide to help promote walking.
  • The CDC has created a guide to help increase physical activity during work meetings.
  • The CDC highlighted Utah as a worksite physical activity success story for employee-initiated success in the workplace.
  • Steps to Wellness: A Guide to Implementing the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in the Workplace provides employers interested in establishing or expanding their wellness programs with easy and understandable steps on how to increase the physical activity of employees in the workplace.
  • Million Hearts created a toolkit on Health and Activity with an action guide for employers.

Diabetes Policy Tools

Below are a number of resources to use as you develop your own worksite policy related to diabetes.

  • The CDC provides the following resources:
    • Diabetes Prevention Impact Toolkit for the State, Employer, and Insurer.
    • A list of resources for employers and insurers.
    • Information on how diabetes effects individuals in the workplace.
    • A website Diabetes at Work that provides lots of valuable information and ways to stay connected with updates about diabetes in the workplace.
  • The Kansas Health Department has created a toolkit with information on how to incorporate diabetes prevention into the workplace.
  • Prevent Diabetes Stat has a lot of resources and helpful toolkits for diabetes prevention.
  • The American Diabetes Association has helpful resources on how to create a culture of wellness at workplaces.

Tobacco Policy Tools

Below is a list of toolkits and resources available to assist you in development of a tobacco policy at your worksite:

  • The Utah Tobacco-Free Workplace Policy Toolkit was created by the Utah Department of Health for local businesses to use in creating a tobacco policy.
  • Florida Tobacco Free Grounds Timeline – A five-step plan to creating a healthy, supportive work environment is a toolkit for employers to use in creating a tobacco policy, and has extra resources such as employee surveys and model policies.
  • University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine created a Tobacco-Free Policy Toolkit that employers can use to create a tobacco policy.
  • The American Cancer Society created announcement templates, promotional messages, and flyers for worksites to use in promoting a tobacco free workplace.
  • The American Cancer Society also provides a Tobacco Use in the Workplace: A Model Policy to reference.

Breastfeeding Policy Tools

Below are a number of resources, toolkits, and model policies to use as you develop your own worksite policy related to breastfeeding. Creating workplace policies and programs for breastfeeding will help create a more breastfeeding-friendly environment and increase the number of women who choose to breastfeed at work. For more information about creating a policy for your workplace, visit:

  • The Business Case for Breastfeeding: Steps for Creating a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health and Human Services Administration.
  • Womenshealth.gov
  • U.S. Breastfeeding Committee
  • Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions Partner Resources
  • Timeline for Implementing a Lactation Support Program