Teaching Kitchen is a platform to explore food, culinary & nutrition literacy that will positively impact food choices and experiences. United Health Group (UHG), a Eurest National Account, has committed to providing Teaching Kitchens to their associates in 13 worksites across the U.S. A major challenge UHG faces is how to extend nutrition education beyond the marketplace to influence positive behavior change among guests.
UHG launched a new wellness program in March 2019 with a dining policy that requires 90% of food and beverage options to meet Compass FIT criteria, per direction of senior leadership. That means almost all of the food served throughout their various locations meet nutrition criteria that is in alignment with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The response from guests has been very positive despite the change in menu offerings. Along with the updated dining criteria is the introduction of 9 stand-alone Teaching Kitchens so further nutrition education can be provided to guests on the importance and benefits of eating a healthy diet. Food literacy programs that include cooking skills provide individuals with necessary skills to improve diet quality1. With Teaching Kitchen, clients can support their population’s health goals while also improving their productivity, creativity, morale, and engagement with wellness initiatives.
Chef explained everything so that it was easy to understand. Something I could actually repeat at home in my own kitchen. Thanks! – UHG Employee, Minnesota
A Eurest Registered Dietitian facilitates Teaching Kitchen classes weekly at the headquarters in Minnetonka, Minnesota (MN). The program has expanded outside the MN market to 8 additional sites that have a clinical team within them to help facilitate classes. Leveraging internal teams to partner on wellness initiatives can be extremely valuable when resources may be limited. Demographics vary by location as executive offices are located in the MN market while call centers are located in other cities such as Phoenix. Chefs are trained in order to maintain consistency; however, regional demands across the portfolio allow chefs to introduce local favorites to participants. A wide variety of topics are covered in the curriculum – participants learn how to use kitchen tools, participate in classroom activities and are provided with independent learning exercises to practice at home.
96% of students would recommend classes to a friend
94% rate for overall Teaching Kitchen experience
The classes are so popular among guests that seats fill up within one day. UHG is also seeing a high attendance conversion rate as 75% of guests show up for their class. Each class can accommodate anywhere between 12 and 14 guests.
Determining what times work best for schedules is the biggest barrier to increasing attendance because of the variable nature of call center schedules versus traditional schedules in executive offices. Since the inception earlier this year, 331 guests have completed a Teaching Kitchen class at UHG.
THANK YOU for this new, fun, exciting Teaching Kitchen, it really adds a LOT to the healthy lifestyle and is just one more step in encouraging all employees to thinking differently to make these lifestyle changes! LOVED IT!!! – UHG Call Center Employee, Overland Park
learn more about the Teaching Kitchen program here and start cooking with us today with our at home video series!
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