8 Tips for catering, hosting healthy meetings and events

Full-time employees may consume half or more of their daily calories while at work. Can you encourage healthy eating while being a good host in the workplace? Of course you can—and these 8 tips for catering healthy meetings can help!

Healthy options on a lunch buffet

1. Avoid offering meals and snacks when it is unnecessary.

Doughnuts and other snacks are likely additional empty calories for most employees, not a replacement for their usual meal or snack. If a meeting is expected to last roughly an hour or less, don’t provide any food at all. Offer water, coffee, and unsweetened tea instead.

2. Use plates, bowls, and utensils that encourage healthy portion sizes.

A 7-inch or 9-inch plate holds less food than an oversized restaurant plate, helping keep portions in check. Plus, a smaller plate looks full, helping guests feel full.

3. Always offer fruits or vegetables.

Everyone needs at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, which means 1-2 servings each time we eat. Whenever possible, offer more than one variety so that most guests can find a healthy option that they enjoy.

4. Place fruits and vegetables first in the buffet line.

Fruits and vegetables may be skipped if guests’ plates are full by the time they reach the healthy choices in the buffet line. Placing them first encourages larger portions of healthy foods.

5. Offer dressings, condiments, and sauces on the side.

Allow guests to dress their own salads, sandwiches, or other dishes so that each individual can control how much—and what—is consumed.

Sandwich platter

6. Cut bagels, sandwiches, and desserts in halves or quarters.

These items are often oversized when prepared by restaurants or catering services, so ask to have them cut before placing the platter on the buffet line. The visual suggestion will encourage many guests to eat smaller portions.

7. Choose broiled, baked, grilled, poached, or lightly sauteed.

If serving a hot entree, look for menu choices that use words such as these in the description. They typically signal items prepared in healthier ways.

8. Replace snack breaks with physical activity breaks.

Skip snack service and encourage guests to take an activity break instead. They can walk around the meeting site, stretch, or participate in a facilitated activity break.

These are just a few of the ideas included in our guide to healthy eating in the workplace. Get specific menu suggestions, tips for ordering from restaurants that deliver party-sized platters, vending machine strategies, and more.

4 Ways to Increase Healthy Eating at Work

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