Meeting Well: Tips for Meals & Snacks

Posted: April 13, 2016

When planning food for meetings, there are many things to consider with budget being an important one. Here are some suggestions for healthy meals and snacks with limited budgets in mind:
Healthy Eating on a Budget

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Breakfast Ideas:  Calorie goal 300-400 calories and 13 grams or less of fat (for someone consuming a 2000 calorie diet).

Consider small muffins (2 ½ inch), or 3 ½ inch whole grain bagel, which is nearly half the calories of the larger bagels. Other good breakfast options are oatmeal and whole grain cereals. Low cost proteins include eggs, peanut butter, low fat cottage cheese and low-fat yogurt. Select whole seasonal fruit, fruit salad or 100% fruit juice to reduce costs.

Lunch: Calorie goal 600-700 calories (23 grams fat)                                               

Dinner: Calorie goal 700-800 calories, (27 grams fat)

Lunch and dinners should be limited in fat content to 12-15 grams for the entrée since the rest of the fat will come from other foods in the meal. Avoid deep fried foods for less fat and calories. Whole grain sub sandwiches, wraps and pasta dishes are lower cost ideas. Ask for broth and bean based soups instead of cream based soups. Avoiding red meat can keep costs down as well as fat and calories. Other entree options: turkey or chicken chili, vegetable pizza, vegetable stuffed pita sandwiches, taco salad made with chicken, casseroles made with reduced fat cheese and lots of vegetables, vegetarian lasagna.

Watch portion sizes and shoot for 3-4 ounces of protein which would be a small chicken breast, tuna (in water), lean pork loin. Offer steamed seasonal vegetables and salads with lower fat dressings and toppings.

Choose low calorie sweetened beverages, water, unsweetened iced tea, coffee or low-fat milk.

Desserts should be available in small portions such as smaller cookies, brownies, or try lower calorie options like pudding , sherbet, low-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, angel food cake with strawberries, and fresh fruit.

Keep in Mind Portion Control for Calories
•    Cut bagels in half or offer mini bagels instead of full size.
•     Individual serving sizes of meats, entrees, desserts
•     Small individual serving bags of healthy snacks like multi-grain pretzels and nuts.
•    Serve small  amounts of sauces and dressings on the side

Source: American Cancer Society; Penn State Extension’s Meeting Well initiative