Snacks at Work Meetings

Snacks at work meetings, ugh. They can be one of the quickest ways to sabotage all my hard work at keeping my blood sugars in line.

Unhealthy snacking at work

I work as part of a team. As part of a team, you have an obligation to meet in order to continue to function as a team. Our weekly team meetings include some snack foods that many times, are not healthy. Since the decision to have snacks at our 2-3 hour meetings was a team decision, we take turns bringing it and we pay for it out of our own pockets. It is up to the person whose turn it is to decide what to bring. Of twelve women, 11 bake. I’m missing that gene. When it’s my turn, I buy baked goods and bring fruit. Nothing wrong with fruit, right? Well, I guess that’s a matter of opinion. Clementines and grapes do nothing to assist blood sugars. Before the meeting even begins my eyes spy the snack table. Part way through the meeting I look at my watch waiting for break. I refocus on the meeting but I can hear my name being called. I look around. No it’s not my colleague on either side of me. Ugh. It’s the snack table calling to me relentlessly until I respond. I show so little resistance at break time. Lucky for me, I am less insulin resistant in the afternoon so I don’t do huge damage to my blood sugars. It doesn’t however help my continual weight loss efforts. Lately, when it’s my turn to bring the snack, I try to bring cheese and fruit. The higher fat in the cheese can slow the absorption of the sugar in the grapes and clementines. And I don’t go buy the snacks when I’m hungry.

Lead by example for healthy eating

Meetings outside the office can be very stressful when it comes to the snack table too. We are expected to contribute to snacks at the work related meetings we attend in the community. My employer took a huge leap forward and implemented a couple of workplace policies around healthy eating. The one that stands out most: they won’t reimburse for unhealthy snacks at meetings we are attending. Underlying message: you want junk food at the meeting, you pay. Ouch! and YAY! at the same time. The greatness of the policy wasn’t just about the financial reimbursement for me. The policy was about doing our part in setting an example. We all work in providing services to families and their children. Now I really think about what I’m bringing to the meetings especially in light of escalating numbers of type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity rates. That’s not to say there aren’t unhealthy snacks available. There are, others who contribute to the snack table. If we start small and lead by a quiet example then eventually there will be broader change in thinking regarding healthy eating in our community. I now never take unhealthy snacks to outside work meetings. The policy has been an effective attitude adjuster for me and as I share our policy with other community members, they are now adopting it too.

Our team meetings need work in becoming healthier but our community meetings are on an amazing path.

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