Catering to health-conscious delegates doesn't mean disappointing the foodies

A healthy, organic menu doesn't have to be expensive, says Jennifer Davidson, MD of Sleek Events

Image credit: iStock
Image credit: iStock

Jennifer Davidson is the founder and MD of Sleek Events

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Can you put on event with a menu to remember and still cater to the needs of your more health conscious guests? 

With the fast-increasing importance of wellbeing, fitness and nutrition, we might instead ask the question: Will your event be successful without catering for your health-conscious guests?

As the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) publishes its report on trends in nutrition and delegate wellbeing, we decided to share our experience and advice on how to satiate the needs of your event delegates. Here are some of the questions we at Sleek Events most often receive from our clients during the event planning stage.

Is healthy food more expensive?

Prepared healthy meals and organic produce are generally costly when purchasing from the supermarket but, when bulk bought and prepared from scratch by professional caterers, prices for healthy option menus come in at the same price as any other regular menu. Ask your event manager what menus are available from your shortlist of venues or caterers.

Can one menu cater for all guests?

Whether it’s for ease during a short lunchtime break or for budgeting purposes, some clients consider a single menu to cater for all guests. We recently catered an event with a totally vegetarian menu and even the most committed carnivores amongst the guests were raving about the lunch because of the thoughtful, tasty recipes including well-balanced spices. You don’t need to be afraid of single menus when you have talented chefs behind them.

What actually constitutes healthy food?

This completely depends on the nutritional plan your guests are following. We always recommend our clients ask well in advance. For instance, gluten-free food is necessary for people with intolerances but is rarely lower in sugar or calories that its gluten-packed alternative. So, keep an open mind, a record of dietary requirements and share them as soon as possible with your event manager. 

What non-alcoholic drinks can we serve?

Many clients worry that the non-alcoholic drink options are boring for their guests. They are often choosing not to drink because they are the designated driver or have other responsibilities after the event, but that’s another reason why they deserve an imaginative drink!

We like Time Out’s recent top of the mocks – mocktail that is – The Temperance from Behind This Wall in Hackney. Your gut will thank you for this one as it contains a sour kombucha base, mixed with fennel seed, pomegranate molasses and cardamom tonic – great for digestion.

 

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