This quick list of ideas for healthy meeting menu choices was developed in partnership with The Yale Office of Sustainability, Being Well at Yale, Yale Hospitality and the School of Public Health. For more ideas and to certify your sustainable events, please see the Yale Green Event Certification.
Viva la veggie!
Vegetarian meals are healthier for people and the planet, plus skipping meats usually means you’re catering to more dietary preferences such as vegan and kosher.
Variety is the spice of life
If you are planning recurring meetings, consider shaking up the offerings and giving your team build-your-own ideas , like a salad bar or a vegetarian taco bar. If serving pizza, order a more sustainable and healthy one with half the cheese and double the veggies.
Protein and produce are beautiful! Instead of muffins or bagels, think eggs, yogurt, and fruit for the morning repast.
Why weight your guests down with pizza and pasta when you can energize them with greens and legumes?
What goes up must come down – the burst of energy from sugar is often followed by a crash. Offering whole foods such as fruits and nuts is a delicious alternative to the standard cookie fare. Did you know that most granola bars have the same sugar content as cookies? Try cheese sticks instead.
Water instead of juice, fruit instead of dessert, you get the idea….
Go for good fats!
Seriously. Reduced fat foods actually encourage people to eat more and often contain more sugar than the alternatives. Try for full-fat items, and emphasize healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado when you can.
Make a natural splash
Opt for spa water – water infused with herbs and fruit – instead of sweet drinks. Juice has nearly the same amount of sugar as soda, and your body will response to artificially sweetened drinks with sugar cravings.
Place the healthy stuff first
People will take the most of the first items they see, so start with salads.
Share the wealth
Leftovers are often inevitable. Consider bringing take-away containers to reduce food waste.