If you’re looking for lunch and learn ideas and tips for your in-person or remote team, this list will get you started.
In this article, we’ll cover some lunch and learn ideas and tips to spark some inspiration!
Lunch and Learn Tips & Ideas for Healthy Employees
Lunch and learns are an opportunity for workplace community building. They are also great for:
- Reminding employees of all the health and wellness benefits they have access to
- Team building activities
- Educational workshops with outside wellness experts (like a licensed counselor)
- Leadership and HR leaders to reconnect with the entire company
- Promoting positive employee wellbeing
Lunch and Learn Planning
Here are some tips for implementing a lunch and learn wellness event at your company—online or in person.
1. Choose what you want to accomplish with this lunch & learn
Here are some ideas:
- Teach employees about life skills, financial wellness, mental health, or self-care
- Work on team building and team development
- Revisit business goals
- Explore company culture-building ideas
2. Know who the lunch is for
Decide in advance whether the event will be for a specifically invited group of participants or whether it’s open to everyone.
3. Focus on the meal
What kind of food you will serve will depend on your budget. Small, healthy snacks can work with tea and coffee. You can also cater the meal or have everyone bring their lunches.
4. Choose a location
Patios or breakout spaces are often popular for lunch and learns. You can also hold your lunch and learn on your favorite video call platform.
Be mindful of restaurants as they can be prone to interruptions.
5. Pick how often you want to have the lunch & learn
Lunch and learns are often regular events, so pick a weekly, monthly, or quarterly day that works best for all.
6. Don’t leave the remote employees out
If your team is hybrid, audio and video conferencing apps will enable remote employees to take part in lunch and learns.
7. Promote the lunch and learn
Share the lunch and learn details on your company intranet and send an email out to your team letting them know about the event, the topic, and the date and time.
You can also share a calendar invite with your team so it’s right on their calendar.
If needed, send out a form to RSVP so you can get an accurate headcount for catering.
Lunch and Learn Ideas
Read on for some of our favorite lunch and learn topic ideas for health and wellness at work.
1. Food and Nutrition
Finding ways to eat healthy food with a busy work and life schedule can be tough. Some people struggle with knowing which kinds of foods are best for their body. Others may want to know more about portion control or simple ways to clean up their diet.
There’s no one-size-fits-all diet for everyone. But there are some good basics that generally apply to everyone.
Here are some ideas for lunch and learns on nutrition
- Bring in a nutritionist to talk about healthy snacks to bring to work and healthy eating in general
- Provide a cooking demonstration
- Have a local Community Supported Agriculture representative talk about farm-to-table options for home delivery of farm-fresh food
To make the biggest impact with a lunch and learn session on nutrition, a company should also make sure the food they provide regularly are minimally processed, nutritious whole foods.
Keep your employees motivated for hitting the gym—or inspire them to start—with a lunch and learn session on fitness.
- Learn some quick do-anywhere exercises. Body-weight exercises require no equipment other than perhaps a chair or wall to use as leverage.
- Review a variety of 7-minute workouts. Seven minutes? Really? Yep, it’s true. It’s called high-intensity interval training (or HIIT). This fitness regime is designed to target major muscle groups and elevate your heart rate enough for an efficient full-body workout.
- Hold an employee talk-back. Got a team member who has seen serious results with their personal fitness goals? Ask them to talk about their experience with their peers. No one needs to be at body-builder status to make this work. Even reaching a goal of an unbroken streak of physical activity every day is something to be proud of.
- Walk together. Take a walk after your lunch and learn to take a break. You can even make walking meetings a norm at your company. Walking for just 15 minutes each day can have great health benefits for the mind and body.
It’s not just super-stressed out people who don’t breathe properly. We could be breathing improperly and making life harder on ourselves at any given moment.
A lunch and learn session on proper breathing techniques can help employees learn simple tricks to better breathing.
Breathing right reduces stress hormones and creates a clearer mind.
Want some ideas of where to start? We’ve got a list of great breathing techniques here: Breathing Exercises for Workplace Stress Relief
There’s a whole industry of desktop gadgets to relieve stress: mini zen gardens to rake, squishy stress balls, soothing lightboxes. The list could be endless. But there are much more effective ways to get to the root of employee stress.
Hold a lunch and learn to review some practical ways to combat workplace stress. Employees can share what works for them and learn some simple tricks for minimizing the everyday causes of stress.
Of course, much of your employees’ stress could be due to larger company issues that a bandaid won’t fix. But a little stress relief can go a long way.
Talk about how the following ideas could work for your company:
- Leaving work stress at work and not taking it home
- Taking frequent breaks reduces anxiety and improves concentration
- Using the Pomodoro technique for better focus and clarity
- How better organization and communication can reduce workplace stress
- How meditation and therapy can help employees manage stress
5. Exercises at your desk
Staying in one position for hours at a time takes its toll. Whether your employees sit or stand all day, some muscles are getting overly tight while others get neglected. Talk about ways to keep their bodies as nimble as possible throughout the workday.
Whether it’s simply learning tips for better posture or easy stretches at your desk, exercising at work is possible.
At lunch and learn events like this, employees can learn about how to keep their bodies happy and healthy at work. Depending on what kind of work your employees do, they may be encouraged to move a little more or a little less during the workday. Even a 15-minute walk break during the workday can make a big difference for desk workers.
6. Local activities for health
Host a lunch and learn where employees can get the scoop on upcoming local events that will boost their wellness.
Solicit local fitness companies or event managers to speak to your employees about their events.
- Mud runs or other theme races
- Traditional 5k or 10k events
- Hiking groups
- Commuter bike challenges
- Opening dates for local farmer’s markets
Getting engaged with local activities is an excellent way for employees to meet new people, find new active interests, and ensure that wellness is a key aspect of their lives.
7. Supporting families
Employees aren’t the only ones that need support; their families do as well! There are many ways companies can support families, like EAPs which may offer therapy for employees’ family members or childcare services.
Have a lunch and learn (you could even invite employees’ spouses) and discuss how your company currently supports families, and ideas on how to support employees with their work and home balance.
8. Financial wellness
Companies that provide financial education stand out. The majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, which can lead to high levels of stress.
Hold a lunch and learn with a financial coach in your area, and consider adding a financial wellness benefit like Savology to your employee benefits package. Some common financial wellbeing topics include:
For more on financial wellness, check out this article: Understanding The Link Between Financial Wellbeing and Mental Health
For more on culture-building and morale-boosting activities, check out these posts:
- How to Keep Company Culture Strong When all Employees are Remote
- How to Boost Employee Morale in 2021
- Building a Culture of Feedback, Not Just An Effective Employee Review Process
Learn About the Power of Self-Care
Download the Mental Health Tool Kit to learn about mental health in the workplace – what it is, why it matters, and how you can start supporting employee mental health!