Like many healthcare organizations, Indiana University Health-Bloomington seeks to encourage healthier lifestyle choices among its staff, including healthy eating habits. One core component of a healthy eating regimen is having a good breakfast, and it was this issue that the hospital sought to address with a recent initiative called the LiveWell Breakfast Challenge.

LiveWell is the hospital’s employee wellness program, which offers programs such as fitness classes, nutrition education and even cooking classes (many provided by the Food & Nutrition Dept. staff) as part of its incentivized employee wellness program. LiveWell works with the institution’s marketing and community relations department to help reach and engage employees to participate in their own preventative care.

The Breakfast Challenge was one of many LiveWell initiatives that the in-house dining staff partnered on. Others included challenges focused on menuing more whole grains and serving a daily healthy plate option.

The 28-day Challenge was designed to help participants discover the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast every day. The hospital’s cafeteria expanded its breakfast menu to include more healthy breakfast offerings such as oatmeal bars, Greek yogurt and turkey sausage.

Participants received weekly e-mails with additional education and support materials throughout the period of the challenge. Upon completion, employees were able to log 100 LiveWell points toward the 500 needed to earn a quarterly $50 gift card incentive.

In all, 318 employees participated, and a post-evaluation found that…

• 94.5% were confident they could determine what makes a healthy breakfast
• 83.9% know more about the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast
• 81% noticed the effects of eating a healthy breakfast
• 45% took advantage of the healthy breakfast choices in the cafeteria.