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Tools for Healthy Eating at Work

Healthy Food Choices at Meetings and Events

Menu Suggestions

Keep these practical suggestions in mind when planning the menu for a meeting, workshop or event:

:: Beverages

  • No matter how many kinds of beverages you serve, make sure water is available - jugs or bottled water are both fine.
  • MilkProvide 100% pure fruit and vegetable juices in addition to coffee and tea.
  • Offer 2%, 1%, skim and/or chocolate milk.
  • Provide milk in addition to cream for coffee and tea.

:: Breakfast

  • Provide a variety of foods and beverages.
  • Offer grain products like whole grain toast, low-fat muffins, hot or cold whole grain cereal, whole grain or plain bagels.
  • Provide fruit as whole fruit, a fruit tray, dried fruit, fruit salad, or 100% fruit juices.
  • Make low-fat milk products available, like yogurt (2% M.F. or less), low- fat cheeses (17% M.F. or less) and milk (2% M.F. or less).
  • Offer meat alternatives like poached or boiled eggs, and peanut butter for toast/muffins/bagels.
  • Don't put the spreads on for participants - make the butter, margarine, low-fat cream cheese, peanut butter, etc. available on the side.

:: Sandwiches

  • SandwichesAsk for sandwiches on an assortment of whole grain breads, rolls, pitas, wraps, etc.
  • Offer a variety of low-fat sandwich fillings like tuna, salmon, lean roast beef, turkey, chicken, ham, or low-fat cheese. Make sure to include vegetarian fillings, like grilled vegetables, or present a "make your own" sandwiches platter that includes some vegetable choices.
  • For ready-made sandwiches, ask that a portion of them be made with little or no mayonnaise, butter or margarine. The food label should indicate this.
  • If serving "make your own" sandwiches, offer low-fat mayonnaise, butter and margarine on the side. Include alternative condiments like mustard as well.

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:: SaladSoups/Salads/Crudités

  • Provide broth-based soups or soups made with milk rather than cream.
  • Consider legume-based soups like lentil or black bean soup.
  • When offering salads, make sure that at least one green salad is available.
  • Order green salads made with spinach, romaine lettuce or leaf lettuce rather than iceberg lettuce.
  • Have salad dressings served on the side and offer low-fat and regular options.
  • Consider including legumes or nuts and seeds in the salads. For instance, provide chickpeas or sunflower seeds on the side for green salads.
  • If offering potato or macaroni salad, coleslaw or marinated salads, ask for low-fat dressings.
  • When serving vegetables and dip, ask that the dips be made with yogurt or low-fat sour cream.

:: SushiMain dishes

  • Consider dishes made with grains like rice, couscous, quinoa, barley, noodles or pasta.
  • Include at least one vegetarian selection for lunch or dinner. Try entrees made from beans, lentils, dried peas or tofu.
  • Choose meat, fish, poultry and vegetable dishes that are broiled, roasted, baked or steamed - NOT fried.
  • Consider more international dishes like Italian pasta primavera, Moroccan stew, Mexican vegetable enchiladas, Spanish paella, Oriental stir-fries, Indian curries or Provencal ratatouille.

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:: Desserts

  • Offer fresh fruit or a fruit salad.
  • Emphasize Ontario seasonal fruits.
  • Choose low-fat yogurts.
  • Provide whole grain and low-fat cookie options like oatmeal, gingerbread and fruit-filled cookies (fig, raspberry, apple, etc.).
  • Offer low-fat quick breads (carrot, zucchini, banana, pumpkin), cakes (angel food) or muffins.

:: Snacks

  • FruitsProvide whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese options for cheese and cracker trays.
  • Offer fruit like whole fruit, a fruit tray, dried fruit, fruit salad or 100% fruit juices.
  • Provide low-fat granola bars, 100% fruit bars or cereal bars.
  • When serving vegetables and dip, ask that the dips be made with yogurt or low-fat sour cream.
  • Serve low-fat yogurt (2% M.F. or less) in a variety of flavours.
  • Provide nuts and seeds, and dried fruit in small cups.

Take a quick look at our Sample Menus.

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Healthy Food Choices at Meetings and Events

Revised: February 09, 2010

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