It’s a universally accepted fact that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that it absolutely sets the tone and the pace for the rest of your day.
Why is it, though, that we neglect self-care in this area? We need the energy, but according to some surveys, more than half of adults opt out; they know that it’s important, but for some mystifying reason, they choose not to make the time for breakfast.
Keep in mind that children learn by example. If you show them by your actions that breakfast isn’t a priority, guess who’s going to model that behavior? Bingo — your children. Guess who’s going to defend their actions when you get on them about eating their breakfast because of what they’ve seen with you? Bingo again.
According to a 2013 Harvard Study, men who skipped breakfast (and thus engaged in prolonged fasting) increased their risk of heart disease. According to study author Leah Cahill, “As we sleep all night we are fasting, and so if we regularly do not ‘break fast’ in the morning, it puts a strain on our bodies that over time can lead to insulin resistance, hypercholesterolemia and blood pressure problems, which can then lead to heart disease.” (Forbes, July 23, 2013).
So what can companies do to provide a solution to this problem? Technically, it’s really not their problem, but when their employees are stressed out because they’re not eating properly, an intervention might be in order.
The Office Breakfast Club
When we think of “The Breakfast Club”, we might think of a movie about a group of teenagers who bare their souls as they serve detention, but this isn’t the case. This concept might just make the difference between lethargy and productivity and maybe save a few lives in the process.
Depending on the company’s bottom line, it might well serve the company to offer cost-efficient breakfast items, but if the budget doesn’t allow for that type of program you should consider offering breakfast items for sale at cost. Even prior to that, the company might consider doing an anonymous survey to gauge the employees’ interest level.
Some foods that you might consider offering include:
- Whole wheat bread (and a toaster) for toast
- Oatmeal (Steel Cut oatmeal is the most nutritious)
- Cereals (staying away from the sugary stuff)
- Yogurt (keep it low fat and as close to sugar-free as possible)
Back to the idea of The Breakfast Club, the club members should not be eating at their desk; this could lead to grazing throughout the day which could lead to weight gain. They should be enjoying each other’s company in a designated area away from their work area, like the break room or employee lounge.
There’s nothing like breaking bread together to reduce friction between co-workers and develop a sense of community. Talk shop if you must, but it can be beneficial to sit down and socialize with your co-workers without discussing your work day – save that for your morning huddle!