Birthday celebrations don’t have to wreak havoc on everyone’s health goals: they can be fun and festive occasions, and a great way for team leaders and coworkers to celebrate their colleagues. But how do you manage office birthdays in a fun yet healthy way?
Here are four ways to celebrate office birthdays with a healthy twist.
Offer nourishing finger foods
All those little finger foods can add up to a lot of calories! Create a healthier spread by using organic corn chips and plenty of vegetables for dipping, and try to make sure the dipping options are packed with fresh nutrients. Salsa is a wonderful, light classic that is loved by many. Choose organic, low sodium versions or go homemade. Guacamole is another good option: avocados add loads of healthy fats that will fuel up employees’ brains for the rest of the day.
You can also think outside the typical finger food box and consider offering unique options like smoked salmon and bruschetta. Catering some trays of sushi is another way to go – and frees you from the prep work – and if you’ve never had kabobs at an office party, it’s time to see how chicken and grilled vegetables on a stick are not only fun but also pack in a lot of protein and vitamins.
The Daily Burn has 8 healthier finger food recipes, from soba in cucumber cups to mini lasagnas, that are wonderful for parties. Get those creative juices flowing and brainstorm on the variety of healthy finger food options.
Use healthy cake recipes and alternatives
Using in-season fruit in lieu of a traditional birthday cake is an invigorating idea. You can cut the shell off a watermelon and stick a birthday sign and candles in the top. Adding other fruits (like strawberries) with skewers or toothpicks. It is unexpected and lovely.
How about chocolate dipped bananas with nuts sprinkled on top? Or a fruit pizza with jam? There are so many alternative recipes now, including many for grain-free cake and cupcakes using everything from almond flour to applesauce. You can meet the needs of the gluten-free and grain-free employees and still enjoy the traditional look of a cake.
Serving a hearty carrot cake rather than a yellow or chocolate cake is another alternative for a more nutritious version. Brit + Co has 20 healthy birthday cake alternatives for you to try.
Consider moving to the great outdoors
Moving the party outside, if the weather permits, is a way to make the celebration healthier and more joyful. You can get everyone away from their screens and into the sunshine.
We spend so much time inside under fluorescent lights. Taking the party outdoors can help everyone feel like they are getting a real treat with fresh air and the sun’s warmth. It can also help everyone relax and begin to interact more.
Being outside gives our bodies and brains a boost – and it may even help boost productivity for the rest of the day. According to AsapSCIENCE, being in nature has a physical and mental effect on the body. Using brain imaging technology, researchers found that brains in nature showed more activity in the regions associated with stability, empathy, and love. And what office couldn’t use more of those?
Give everyone a brain and mood boost by moving the party outside to a park or green space.
Get everybody up and active
Inside or out, you can also get the energy circulating and everyone bonding during a birthday office party through movement.
Yes, exercise can be fun. Specifically, play-based exercise, which is fun for adults too. You don’t have to let everyone know they are getting exercise. Just throw in some fun games that are based on movement. Use team-building activities at your next birthday party and watch as everyone moves, laughs, and bonds. A great break from the usual office work.
Lance Breger, founder of Infinity Wellness Partners based in Washington, DC says, “As adults, most of us are working really hard. We laugh 30 times per day, as opposed to 300 times per day as a kid. As soon as you start a game, it’s like everyone flashes back. Everything adult that’s caught in their mind is gone.”
With all the “sitting is the new smoking” studies that have come out, birthday parties are a great opportunity to break the mold. Play games. Have a buffet type food set up so attendees must get up and walk around. Hide exercise in the name of food and fun.
Healthy finger foods, cake alternatives, sunshine, and movement. Your next office birthday party is going to be so healthy and fun that it will leave everyone with a brain, body, and mood boost.
Looking for ways to make the office a fun, positive place for employees? Café Quill has a few ideas. Subscribe and and follow us on social media to find out more.