The H The Healthier Canteen D.I.Y. ealthier Canteen D.I.Y.

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					     Healthier
 The Healthier Canteen D.I.Y.
 Programme
 A Resource Guide for Workplace Health
 Facilitators




What is this guide for?

This resource guide is based mainly on the healthier canteens guidelines. It provides
explanatory notes, some practical tips, and suggestions on employee engagement to
implement these guidelines at your workplace. It comes with a simple score sheet (softcopy
downloadable from the Workplace Health Promotion portal
http://www.hpb.gov.sg/hpb/default.asp?pg_id=2133 as a tool for you to self-assess your
canteen. You may attach the score sheet together with your application for the Singapore
HEALTH Award and/or the Nutrition Sub-category award.

Support from HPB

Workplaces implementing the programme can collect a complementary public education
display kit from HPB. Simply send your request to hpb_nutrition_dept@hpb.gov.sg with
your contact details. For additional copies, you may download them from the Workplace
Health Promotion portal.
                     HEALTHIER CANTEEN GUIDELINES
            A guide to assist you in menu planning and providing healthier choices

    Healthier dishes are prepared with less oil, salt or sugar, more fruit and vegetables,
  use products with Healthier Choice Symbols (HCS); herb, spices and healthier cooking
                                         methods.

                   You are encouraged to implement ALL 10 Core Guidelines

A. To reduce fat/oil
   1. Skim off layer of oil/fat on dish (es) before and during service at all time.
    2 Use lean cuts of meat or poultry e.g. chicken, with skin and visible fat removed.
    3. Limit deep-fried items to no more than 20% of the daily menu (only 2 out of 10 dishes are
    deep-fried).
    4. Reduce or replace at least 25% of coconut milk with low fat evaporated milk, low fat milk,
        yoghurt or stock.
 B. To reduce salt
    5. Serve sauces, dressing and gravy sparingly.
       Cut down salt / sauces added by 10% (if appropriate). Taste before adding salt and sauces

 C. To increase fruit & vegetables
   6. Offer vegetable dishes to constitute at least 20% of the daily menu
       (i.e. at least 2 out of 10 dishes).
   7. Serve
        •    at least 50g (4 heaped dessertspoonful) of cooked vegetables e.g. chye sim, for every
             serving of vegetable dish in an economic rice-type dish
        •    at least 60g of colorful fresh vegetables for every serving of side salad
        •    at least 25g (2 heaped dessertspoonful) of cooked vegetables for noodle dishes

    8. Offer at least 2 varieties of fresh fruit.
 D. To reduce sugar
   9. Provide at least 30% of the drinks sold to carry the Healthier Choice Symbol
   (e.g. 3 out of every 10 drinks)

 10. Reduce sugar by at least 25% in beverages and dessert (if applicable). Serve extra separately
  E. Using healthier ingredients and cooking techniques
(i) Incorporate healthier ingredients such as whole-grains e.g. brown rice, brown rice bee hoon,
whole meal bread, oats, whole-grain cereal; unsaturated oil, lower sodium sauces, calcium-fortified
products in dishes.
(ii) Use healthier cooking techniques such as steaming, grilling, baking or roasting

Do periodic checks and sample dishes frequently to ensure that these dishes
are not oily and salty.
                   Part 1 - Explanatory notes on guidelines

A. To reduce fat and oil
Why?
Studies have shown that a diet high in saturated fat and low in unsaturated fats increase the
risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Saturated fat is found mainly in animal and high-
fat dairy products such as fatty cuts of meat, the skin and fat of poultry, full cream milk and
milk products, butter and ghee. Plant-based sources of saturated fat include coconut milk,
coconut cream and palm olein, usually used in blended vegetable oils.

What can be done?
Below are some simple measures and modifications can be done to reduce your employee’s
intake of saturated fat at the workplace canteen.

1. Skim off layer of oil/fat on dish (es) before and
   during service at all times.

   This is a simple, easy to do step to remove excess oil
   from dishes. It involves a quick cursory glace and using a
   spoon or ladle to sieve off the excess oil from the top.
   Some dishes like curries and stewed meat tend to be a
   little oilier and would float up after standing for a while.
   For such dishes, you may need to sieve the excess oil
   more frequently.



2. Use lean cuts of meat or poultry e.g. chicken, with
   skin and visible fat removed.

   This may take more time and effort, but the significant
   reduction in saturated fat is worth the while.

   Notably, this may be a challenge for some worksites due
   to the taste preference of the employees. One way to ease
   the modification is to do it bit by bit i.e. start with using
   half the proportion of skinless chicken for a few months
   before progressing to use all. Last but not least, do educate
   your employees on the health benefits of consuming less
   saturated fat. Some examples include placing posters,
   table top messages explaining the benefits of a diet low in
   saturated fat.
3. Limit deep-fried items to no more than 20% of the daily menu i.e only 2 out of 10
   dishes are deep-fried.

   Similar to the above modification, one
   way to ease the transition is to either
   gradually limit the number of deep fried
   items served daily or to have designated
   “deep-fried” day(s) in a week where deep
   fried items can only be sold on these days.

   The aim of this guideline is to limit and
   not eliminate the option of deep-fried
   items. Educating your employees the
   health benefits of consuming less
   saturated fat would be vital in helping
   them make the dietary change.

4. Reduce or replace at least
   25% of coconut milk with
   low fat evaporated milk, low                                  Replace
   fat milk, yoghurt or stock.
B. To reduce salt
Why?
Salt contains 40% sodium, a mineral that affects the blood pressure. Excessive sodium intake
results in fluid retention on the body, causing blood volume to expand. This in turn exerts
pressure on the walls of blood vessels, raising blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major
risk factor for stroke and kidney disease.

An excessive consumption of salt-preserved, cured or smoked food has also been associated
with higher risk of stomach and nasopharyngeal cancers. It can be attributed to salt and
sodium nitrates commonly used as preservatives in these products.

What can be done?
A preference for salty food is acquired. Individuals can recondition their taste-buds by
gradually cutting down on the amount of salt and sauces added to food.

Below are some modifications that you can implement in your canteen.

5. Serve sauces, dressing and gravy sparingly.
   Cut down added salt / sauces by 10% (if appropriate).
   Taste before adding salt and sauces.

   One alternative to replace salt is to use natural seasoning like herbs, Less is Best
   spices and natural ingredients to flavour the food. Examples include
   onions, garlic, lemons, leek, spices, and
   water from soaking mushrooms or meat /
   vegetable stock to flavour food. Share and
   discuss with your chefs on how best to
   make these changes.
C.      To increase fruits and vegetables
Why?
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and beneficial plat substances
(phytochemicals). These help strengthen the body’s immune system. Fruits and vegetables
also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol while
insoluble fiber promotes healthy bowel functions. Studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits
and vegetables lowers the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer
by 20-30%.

On a lighter note, fruits and vegetables stimulate the senses and appetite by adding a variety
of colour, flavours and textures to meals.

What can be done?
Every adult Singaporean is encouraged to consume at least 2 servings of fruits and vegetables
everyday. Availing it at your workplace helps your employees meet their recommended
intake of fruits and vegetables.

6.     Offer at least 20% vegetable or vegetable-based dishes in the
daily menu (i.e. at least 2 out of 10 dishes).

Mix dishes with colourful vegetables like carrots, bell-peppers and
tomatoes to enhance its appearance. Cut them creatively. A simple way to
retain the green colour of vegetables is to briefly blanch them before
cooking. Discuss with your chefs how best to present the dishes
appetizingly.

6. (a) Serve at least 50g (~ 4 heaped dessertspoonful) of cooked
   vegetables for every serving of vegetable dish
   (b) Serve at least 60g of colorful fresh vegetables for every
       serving of side salad.
   (c) Serve at least 25g (~ 2 heaped dessertspoonful) of cooked
       vegetables for each noodle dish.




8. Offer at least 2 varieties of fresh fruit at your canteen

     In addition to offering fruits, have a fresh fruits bazaar right at
     your place once a week or month. The convenience of having it
     right at the doorstep is proving to be a hit among many
     workplaces. Check out the list of wholesale vendors at the
     workplace health promotion portal.
D. To reduce sugar
Why?
Added sugar in beverages and food provide empty calories (calories with little nutritional
value). Excessive consumption of beverages and food high in added sugars not only spoils
your appetite for nutritious food, it can contribute considerably to energy intake. Energy
intake if exceeding daily energy requirement and not expended through physical activity can
lead to weight gain and obesity. Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, coronary heart disease,
stroke and high blood pressure.

What can be done?
Like salt, sugar is an acquired taste. Individuals can recondition their taste-buds by gradually
cutting down on the amount of sugar added to beverages and food.

Below are guidelines to help your employees reduce their sugar intake at work.

9. Provide at least 30% of the drinks sold
carrying the Healthier Choice Symbol
(3 out of 10 drinks).




(a)    Install or make available plain water dispensers or water coolers at your workplace to
encourage staff to choose plain water over sweetened drinks. Plain water is an excellent thirst
quencher and has zero calories.

10. Reduce sugar / syrups by at least 25% in beverages and dessert (if applicable). Serve
extras separately

Encourage your staff to taste beverages first before adding sugar or syrup, if necessary.
Discuss with your chefs how homemade drinks and desserts can be prepared using less sugar
and syrup.
E. Using healthier ingredients and cooking techniques
a) Offer whole-grains

What is a whole-grain?

A whole-grain consist of all 3 parts of the grain :

In refined grains like white rice and white flour, the bran and
germ layers are removed during milling, leaving mainly the
starchy endosperm. The additional goodness of whole-grains
is concentrated in the bran and germ layers which contains
        • Fibre
        • Vitamin B & E
        • Minerals e.g. magnesium, zinc and selenium
        • Phytochemicals (beneficial plant substances)

The wholesome benefits of whole-grains are not just limited to fibre. Whole-grains are also
important sources of antioxidants (Vitamin E and selenium) and phytoestrogens. These food
components works together to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Whole-grains may also play a role in weight management.

Whole-grains can be food such as brown rice, oats, whole meal bread, brown rice bee hoon
and whole-grain cereal.

Simple ways to get started on whole-grains
   • Offer brown rice on special days or mix half of white rice with brown rice for a start.
   • Have brown rice bee hoon in noodle dishes like brown rice bee hoon fish soup
   • Serve whole meal bread sandwiches for breakfast menus or meetings
   • Offer oats, whole-grain cereals, whole-meal crackers




b) Incorporate healthier choice ingredients such as unsaturated oil, lower sodium
   sauces, calcium fortified tofu and soy products in dishes.

c) Use healthier cooking techniques like grilling, baking, roasting, stir-frying with less
   oil, steaming or microwave cooking.
Part 2 - Public education on healthy eating – To promote and
encourage
Introducing a change is never easy, especially when it involves taste preferences. For this
reason, educating your employees to help them make a dietary change is important.
Ultimately, the thrust for a healthier canteen stems from a company corporate philosophy that
is committed to the well-being of their employees.

a) Educational posters

There are various types of educational
posters that you can explore.
Ultimately, these messages must
motivate and encourage your staff to
make positive dietary changes.

Health information materials are
obtainable from HPB Online (www.
hpb.gov.sg) and from the Health
Information Center 6435 3954
(http://www.hpb.gov.sg/hic/)
                                         Alexandra Hospital places a wall-poster encouraging
                                         their staff to age healthily by eating wisely



b) Traffic-light colour coding for
healthy, less healthy and unhealthy
food.

The colour coding is an easy guide for
your employees to make informed
decisions when they order food. Should
you require more assistance on colour
coding, you may wish to engage a
workplace consultant
to assist you.
c) Pricing incentives

Incentive to encourage healthy eating is another simple strategy that can be very effective,
especially in a closed setting like a worksite canteen. Studies conducted at worksites and
schools have shown that even small price differentiation can influence purchase behaviour of
customers. In one study, when prices of fruits and vegetables were reduced by 50%, it
resulted in a 4 fold increase in purchase sales.

Price differentiation can be done in many ways. Subsidizing in the price of fruits and
vegetables and healthier items; increasing the prices of less healthy food slightly (by about
10¢ - 50¢); having a free fruit or vegetable day/week would encourage similar responses.

Case study
At Alexandra hospital, to encourage staff to consume less sugar, sweetened beverages like
Coke and Pepsi are priced 50¢ more than Diet Coke or Pepsi max. To further discourage its
consumption, these varieties are placed on lower shelves, away from the eye level.




 Staff are charged less for ordering more vegetable
 dishes

				
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