Meeting and Events Guide
Check out this simple guide when planning healthy and delicious snacks and meals for meetings and events!
Meal and Snack Planning for Events
- Be mindful of portion sizes. You can learn more about serving sizes at ChooseMyPlate.gov.
- Offer low-sodium and low-sugar options.
- Aim for meat options such as poultry, fish, shellfish, or lean (unprocessed) meat.
- Ask attendees about any special diets, food sensitivities, and allergies to inform your food order. Offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options if indicated. 1,2
- Have water as the default beverage, preferably served in pitchers rather than individual plastic bottles. Adding lemon or cucumber slices to the water may provide some extra flavor in place of soda or juice.
- Try placing fruits and vegetables toward the front of the buffet line—people might be more likely to serve themselves with what they see first.
- Serve fresh fruit as a side or dessert.
- Choose whole grain options for breads, side dishes, and baked goods.
- Serve oil-based dressings and condiments on the side.
- Choose foods that have been broiled, steamed, grilled, baked, or sautéed with oil as opposed to fried.
- Scrambled eggs and low-fat dairy products (e.g., Greek yogurt)
- Whole fruits (banana, orange, apple) or fruit platter
- Whole grain breads and baked goods; oatmeal with cinnamon, nuts, and dried or fresh fruit
- Whole grain bagel with peanut butter, other nut butters, low-fat cream cheese, or hummus as spreads
- Vegetable platter with dips such as hummus or guacamole
- Cheese with wheat cracker or gluten-free crackers
- Salads with brown rice, quinoa, beans, whole grain couscous, or pasta
- Green side salads
- Whole grain sandwich breads, tortillas, pita pockets, flatbreads, and wraps
- Broth-based soups
- Salad and sliced veggies with healthy toppings such as avocados and nuts with vinaigrette dressings on the side
- Fruit or bite-sized baked goods as desserts
- Water as a default beverage
- Unsweetened hot beverages such as coffee (regular and decaffeinated) and tea (black, green, or herbal)
- Iced teas or carbonated water with no added sweeteners
- 100 percent fruit juice
- Low-fat or non-fat dairy, soy, or almond milk
- American Cancer Society: Meeting Well: A Tool for Planning Healthy Meetings and Events
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Choosing Foods and Beverages for Healthy Meetings, Conferences, and Events
- Center for Science in the Public Interest: Healthy Meetings
1Vegetarian diets typically do not include meat, fish, or poultry. Vegan diets are typically free of other animal products such as eggs, dairy products, and honey.
2Gluten-free diets exclude the protein gluten, which is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale. Look for foods that have gluten-free labeling.