An invitation to tea and biscuits

BFBS, the military charity and media organisation, ran a series of colleague wellness events during Mental Health Awareness Week in May 2021. Among the sessions was ‘Mental Health – Eating for mental and physical wellbeing’, which saw Louise Symington (one of Work Ready’s accredited dietitians) join one of the company’s regular ‘Virtual Tea & Biscuits’ get-togethers to run an informal nutrition session with plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Pictured: Louise Symington MSc BSc RD and the Eat Well Feel Well Workshop

The  Eat Well Feel Well workshop covering ‘food and mood’ was used as a guide for Louise’s session. It was adapted to be mainly images on balance to text to avoid too much reading for participants, the aim was to discuss nutrition in an informal setting. Louise engaged people’s attention by asking the audience:

‘what is the fattiest and sugar hungry organ in the body?’

(Answer=brain!)

This surprised a few people and got them thinking.  Louise gave an overview of how food and nutrition affects mood in both the short and long term and provided plenty of meal, snack and drink ideas.

Two sessions of 30 mins were allocated over different days with each session consisting of a 15 min presentation with 15 minutes of question time. 

The workshop was well attended with approximately 15- 20 attendees for each session. BFBS colleagues seemed particularly interested in alternatives to sugary snack  ‘pick me ups’.  Louise discussed the importance of:

  • getting the foundations of a balanced meal pattern first to help sustain healthy blood sugar levels 
  • regular screen breaks and fresh air
  • nutritious snack/ drink choices. 

The staff felt this was a good reminder and many were keen to try the advice.

Some of Louise’s top take-aways from doing this piece of Work Ready activity were:

  • Having a theme and focus really helps motivate staff to participate
  • Knowing there is plenty of time for questions makes it feel more relevant and personal to them
  • Having a fun pop quiz or headline can get the audience’s attention

If you’re interested in how a Work Ready dietitian can support your organisation’s wellbeing programme, get in touch with us below.

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