Is Your Catering Menu Putting Your Conference to Sleep? Switch It Up With Superfoods

Posted by on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 with Comments Off on Is Your Catering Menu Putting Your Conference to Sleep? Switch It Up With Superfoods Comments

When planning for an office event or business meeting, take the time to ask yourself an important question: Is your catering menu going to leave attendees feeling energized and ready to work, or send their energy levels crashing to the floor?

If you usually opt for safe and easy meals like box lunches or pizzas, it’s likely the latter. The highly processed carbohydrates and sugar usually found in sandwich bread, potato chips, cookies, and pizza crust provide a quick boost to blood sugar — along with a subsequent crash. A roomful of sleepy employees or conference participants is not what you’re looking for at 3 pm during a long day of meetings! Instead of simply feeding the cycle with coffee, sodas, and more sugary snacks, consider an alternative solution: plan a catering menu rich in superfoods that will provide long-lasting nourishment and energy for the rest of the day.

catering table with chicken

Plan a catering menu for all-day energy. Image source: flickr user Oceanview Med Spa

Let’s be clear. “Superfood” is a loose term that essentially means a food rich in nutrients and low in undesirable characteristics, like sugar and saturated fats. It’s also a frequently-abused buzzword applied to questionable choices like dark chocolate, beef, and coffee in top ten lists just as often as blueberries and flaxseed. However, when it comes to a task like planning a catering menu, it’s much more pleasant and creative to think in terms of all the wonderful, healthy foods you can serve to boost health and energy levels, rather than just listing the items you should avoid.

healthy quinoa and spinach salad

Whole grains salads are a refreshing change of pace. Image source: flickr user TheDeliciousLife

First on the list of superfoods to feature is whole grains. When a food is made from whole grains (like oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread), the entire kernel of the grain is included in the finished product. When a grain is highly processed (like white bread and pizza crust made from refined flour), the most nutritious part of the kernel is removed. That’s why whole grains have more fiber and vitamins than processed grains. Whole grains are digested more slowly, meaning that we feel fuller and glean energy from the food we eat for a longer period of time. On the catering table, think of dishes like whole wheat pasta, quinoa salads, and brown rice. At a breakfast meeting, choose oatmeal and whole wheat toast; when it’s time for a snack, consider popcorn (one of the most surprising whole grains!) instead of potato chips and cookies.

Many fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and nutrients as well, and the limited amount of natural sugars in fruit make it a particularly good choice for a dessert alternative. Serve small dishes of berries (blueberries are especially high in flavonoids that boost cognitive function) instead of cookies or slices of cake after lunch, and provide raw veggies like bell peppers and carrots with hummus or a Greek yogurt dip instead of candy at a mid-afternoon break.

roasted salmon with limes

Healthy fats and omega-3’s make salmon a wise choice. Image source: flickr user Juan-Calderon

Finally, choose the right kind of protein for main dishes. Salmon has omega-3 fatty acids that boost focus and concentration, while beans and lentils offer protein, fiber, and are vegetarian-friendly. Provide a well-rounded menu where vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins are all available, rather than just a meat-heavy plate that might leave attendees feeling overfull and sleepy rather than refreshed and energized.

healthy lunch with brown rice

Aim for a healthy mix of whole grains, vegetables, and healthy proteins. Image source: flickr user foodswings

When it comes to planning the best catering menu for your event, the expert team at is here to help. Online ordering and easy delivery services help keep your conference and meeting attendees well-fed and at their best.

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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