Fuelling a productive and healthy workforce
Staff are increasingly reliant on their workplaces to provide at least one, if not two of their daily meals.
Healthy eating can have a huge impact on how people feel during the day and their productivity.
In the short term, if we don’t eat regular, well-balanced healthy meals or drink enough water, we could be prone to headaches, feel sluggish or have difficulty concentrating. Long term, a healthy and balanced diet with adequate amounts of physical activity also helps reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, some cancers and coronary heart disease. Chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease and stroke, cause 7 in 10 premature deaths in Ireland. A healthy lifestyle can prevent 30% of cancers and 80% of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The World Health Organisation has identified workplace health programmes as one of the ‘best buy options’ for the prevention and control of chronic disease and for mental health and wellbeing.
The Happy Heart Healthy Eating Award is a unique health promotion programme created by the Irish Heart Foundation in the mid-1990s. We have continuously developed the programme over the past 25+ years with the support of the HSE. Through the award programme, catering facilities in healthcare services are assisted and supported to adopt healthier cooking practices and provide healthier food choices without incurring substantial costs. The process involves two tailored site visits – the catering assessment and monitoring visit – as well as all the dietitian’s advice and recommendations for your facility.
Achieving the Happy Heart Healthy Eating Award will help to:
– create a culture of health and wellbeing;
– provide a long-term sustainable programme;
– demonstrate a commitment to your facility’s staff wellbeing.
In 2021 we partnered with the HSE Healthy Eating Active Living Programme to support healthcare services and enable:
– the healthier choice to be the easier choice for staff and visitors;
– catering facilities in healthcare services to ensure healthy options are provided and promoted;
– food and beverage provision to be aligned with the HSE Nutrition Standards for provision of food and beverages to staff and visitors.
This coordinator guide has been designed to support catering facilities in pursuit of the Irish Heart Foundation’s Healthy Eating AwardDownload
There are three different levels of achievement for the award: Bronze, Silver and Gold. You can apply for any level but must meet the specific criteria for that award.
Download the criteria checklist
Awards are presented at a national award ceremony each year. The award is valid for two years. You can re-apply for the award every two years. Our aim is to support every healthcare catering facility to achieve the highest standard possible, so we encourage sites re-applying to aim for the next level.
Catering facilities that prepare and serve hot food on site in HSE sites and Section 38 and 39 funded health services can register for the award programme free of charge by contacting HealthyEating.ActiveLiving@hse.ie
Other healthcare services can access the award programme for a charge.
Email HealthyEating.ActiveLiving@hse.ie to register your interest in the award programme. You will be asked to complete a short survey which will be shared with the Irish Heart Foundation.
Once we receive your completed survey a member of the Irish Heart Foundation’s dedicated and experienced health promotion team will be in touch with you to talk you through the process and what is involved in being part of the Awards.
“The Catering Department of St Vincent’s Private Hospital have been involved in the Irish Heart Foundation health initiatives for over 10 years, and believe as a hospital we should be providing healthy, nutritious food for staff. Having healthy choices available for staff assists them in making the right food choices and is ensuring that we help in their overall wellbeing. Achieving the Gold Award was an honour to the department’s commitment to providing nutritious, fresh, healthy food daily.‘ – Yvonne Byrne, Catering Manager St Vincent’s Private Hospital
“The Healthy Eating Award had been on our horizon for several years. To achieve external accreditation based on very specific criteria that included complete food and beverage calorie posting, compliance of HSE Healthy Vending, and very structured and healthy menu options has led to greater customer satisfaction and confidence in our meal offerings, and this has been very rewarding for us. We play a leading role in the hospital staff Health and Wellbeing activities and feel a sense of pride, to be at such a high standard, providing customers with the tools to make informed healthy meal choices.” – Ian O’Gorman, Catering Manager Tallaght University Hospital.
Watch this testimonial from Cork University Hospital, Cork on the success of our Healthy Eating Awards at the hospital.
There are three different levels of achievement for the award: bronze, silver, and gold. You can apply for any level but must meet the specific criteria.
South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Cork
Cork University Hospital, Cork
St. Finbarr’s Hospital, Cork
St. Stephen’s Hospital, Cork
Saint John of God Carmona Services, Dublin
St. Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin
Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Dublin
St. Vincent’s University Hospital Elm Park, Dublin
St. Vincent’s Hospital Fairview, Dublin
Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, Laois
Portiuncula University Hospital Ballinasloe, Galway
Bon Secours Hospital, Galway
St. John’s Hospital, Limerick
Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, Limerick
University Maternity Hospital, Limerick
Our Lady’s Hospital Navan, Meath
University Hospital Kerry, Kerry
Sligo University Hospital, Sligo
St. Joseph’s Hospital, Clare
St. Camillus’ Hospital, Limerick
Roscommon University Hospital, Roscommon
Mayo University Hospital, Mayo
University Hospital Galway, Galway
Naas General Hospital, Kildare
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, Louth
Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin
Bloomfield Health Services, Dublin
Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin
Letterkenny University Hospital, Donegal
The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin
Dr Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin
Cherry Orchard Hospital, Dublin
St. Columcille’s Hospital, Dublin
The National Maternity Hospital, Dublin
Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway
St. Francis’s Hospice Raheny, Dublin
University Hospital Limerick, Limerick
Saint Francis Hospice Blanchardstown, Dublin
National Rehabilitation Hospital Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services Harold’s Cross, Dublin
St. Joseph’s Intellectual Disability Service, Dublin
UPMC Aut Even Hospital, Kilkenny
Milford Care Centre, Limerick
St. John of God Hospital Stillorgan, Co Dublin
Can’t find what you’re looking for? We want to support you every step of the way.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for ongoing professional support and expert advice from the Irish Heart Foundation.