Guidelines for Healthier Meeting Foods

Oh no!  You’re in charge of this month’s staff meetings, and you need to provide food and beverages.  You’ve been making personal choices toward a healthier lifestyle, and food is one area where you’ve made great changes – and you feel terrific!  How do you provide healthy food choices for these meetings that everyone will enjoy? 

The following tips from the Eat Smart North Carolina Meeting Guidelines might help as you plan your meetings. 

  1. Offer fruits and veggies – low in calories, but high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  2. Plan for smaller portions – both food and beverages
  3. Rather than only sodas, have water and unsweetened beverages available too - like 100% fruit and vegetable juice.
  4. Offer baked, roasted or grilled meats and fish.
  5. Identify restaurants, grocery stores and caterers who offer high quality, healthier food choices at a reasonable price, and use them when you order food for your meeting. 

Think twice about always having food at meetings, especially those held mid-morning or mid-afternoon.  Yes, it is sometimes the reason people come, but many of us are trying to change our eating habits, and less food temptations might be welcomed!  If you do provide snack-type foods, try to keep it to fruits and vegetables.

Move!  Oftentimes, snack foods are used to provide a diversion in a meeting – a reason to get up and move around.  Rather than having sugary foods and beverages, have a meeting break!  Get everyone up to stretch or move about in the middle of the meeting.

Set an example as the meeting leader.  Show your co-workers you are concerned about your own health and wellbeing, and theirs, too!  Some suggestions from Eat Smart North Carolina include:

  • Establish a formal or informal Healthy Foods Policy (find a sample at
  • Share this policy with management and ask them to lead by example
  • Build activity into your events
  • Encourage physical activity in your workplace
  • Ask your vending company to stock your machines with healthier options, like baked chips, fig bars, pretzels, popcorn, granola bars, bottled water and 100% fruit and vegetable juices.  Other machines could offer yogurts, milk, cottage cheese, fresh fruit and prepackaged vegetables, salads with healthier dressings.

With just a small amount of effort and planning, your events can be healthy and happy ones!  Your co-workers and your waistline will thank you.

To Your Vitality!

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