We’ve all seen it: When that afternoon energy crash hits, people start circling the workplace like hungry sharks, looking for any available chocolate stash or desktop candy bowl.

Support your wellness initiatives and help your team stay healthy by trading in the candy, cookies and chips for healthier options that can keep teams energized and in great oral health.

Update that vending machine

Ask your vending machine provider to switch out the sugary options for better choices like nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, popcorn, beef jerky, fresh vegetables like baby carrots and celery, string cheese or fruit (fresh or canned in its own juice). More and more vending machine companies are providing healthier choices, and newer machines even offer cooling systems to support fresh, perishable foods. One study found that simply the presentation of healthy options can influence people’s decision-making and encourage them to choose wisely.

Step up your fruit game

Do your employees say they’re desperately in need of a quick sugar boost? Fruits like bananas and apples do a great job of providing it, but with the added benefit of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B‑6 and fiber. While some fruits have high sugar content, they have fewer calories and fat and less available sugar than a chocolate bar. The fiber in fresh fruit also slows down sugar absorption and helps employees avoid those energy peaks and valleys associated with processed, high-sugar foods. Eating an apple, orange or other fibrous fruit can also help keep teeth clean and increases salivation, which can neutralize citric and malic acids left behind in the mouth.

So instead of a candy jar on the reception desk, how about a colorful basket of apples, tangerines, bananas and pears? A tiered wire or mesh fruit basket allows you to offer fruit without overcrowding, and it doesn’t take up any more countertop real estate than a traditional bowl. The wire mesh lets air circulate, slowing down the deterioration process.

Celebrate with healthy options

Even office traditions like birthdays and holidays can change to include healthier, tooth-friendly options. For your next office celebration, include some sugar-free chocolate cupcakes (an added bonus: these are also gluten free), and serve them up with a side of strawberry-banana ice cream. For a refreshing drink, mix up a pitcher of iced tea or water with cucumber or fruit slices.

Stay healthy at home

If your employees are working from home, you can still encourage them to take care of their oral health by snacking wisely during the workday. Here are some of the ways Delta Dental resources can help you remind employees about the importance of eating healthy:

Whether through wholesome choices in the workplace, sugar-free celebrations or reminders for remote workers, you can help keep your employees healthy and happy by guiding them toward nutritious alternatives for their workday snacking.