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group of attendees eating dinner at a corporate conference
Madison ShepherdMay 24, 2024 2:44:49 PM8 min read

10 Healthy Meal Ideas for Your Next Conference

10 Healthy Meal Ideas for Your Next Conference

Searching for healthy meal inspiration for your upcoming conference? You've come to the right place.

Your conference doesn't have to depend on doughnuts and soda to keep attendees energized.

You can provide a well-rounded menu for your attendees that not only satisfies their appetites but also promotes their overall well-being.

plate of corporate event conference food

The Benefits of Healthier Conference Meals for Your Attendees

Conferences can be long and demanding. 

By providing balanced meals for your attendees, you can help them maintain their physical and mental strength, reduce fatigue, and boost morale throughout the event.

Just as premium gasoline optimizes a car's performance, fueling your body with the right nutrients optimizes your overall health and energy levels. When we consume high-quality foods, our bodies function more efficiently and for longer periods.

According to, food directly impacts cognitive performance, which is why many people experience an afternoon slump after an unhealthy lunch.

two corporate event caterers arranging the conference food lunch table

Work With Your Venue to Develop Your Menu

Get the most out of your catering team by asking what options they recommend for a healthier event menu. 

You're not limited to the items listed only on the menu, so always ask about customizable options or healthier offerings beyond the standard selection. Also, check if the venue can offer locally sourced food for your event.

a bowl of warm oatmeal with strawberries and bananas on top

3 Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Your Next Conference

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so offer your attendees a diverse selection of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fresh fruits or vegetables for a well-rounded start to their morning.

According to Harvard Medical School, "Breaking the fast" is a key way to power up in the morning. Do it right and the benefits can fuel your attendees until lunchtime. 

1. Oatmeal Stations

Oatmeal stations are a fantastic option for conferences, offering attendees a warm and comforting breakfast that can be customized to their liking. Attendees can top their oatmeal with a variety of nutritious options such as fresh fruit slices, nuts, seeds, honey, and cinnamon.

Why oatmeal? It’s rich in fiber, which promotes fullness, eases the insulin response, and benefits gut health. It's also a source of vitamins B and E, and minerals such as magnesium (Harvard).

2. Vegetable Omelets

Serve your attendee's pre-made or fresh-to-order omelets with a plentiful serving of vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, or asparagus. Serve with a slice of whole-grain toast on the side with various spreads and jams to satisfy their sweet tooth. 

Why eggs? Eggs are an excellent choice to offer attendees in any form, as they are rich in protein, vitamins A, D, and B12, along with choline (Mayo Clinic). 

You may want to think twice before you add bacon, salami, or cured ham to your omelet. Harvard Medical School recommends you limit processed meats to occasional treats, as they are linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the heaviness of these options could lead to an early "slump," which isn't ideal when you need attendees to stay attentive during your keynote speaker.

3. Yogurt & Fresh Fruit Stations

For attendees preferring a grab-and-go breakfast, a yogurt and fresh fruit station is a great option.

Provide single-serving Greek yogurts, offering twice the protein compared to regular yogurt, along with a variety of granola options and mixed nuts for toppings. Be cautious with pre-mixed flavored yogurts, as they can contain a lot of unnecessary sugar.

Offering fresh fruit is a must at conferences. Bananas, apples, and oranges are easy to grab, while a bowl of berries adds extra sustenance when added to yogurt.

plate of garbanzo beans and avocado and vegetables for lunch

3 Healthy Lunch Ideas For Your Next Conference

Whether your conference attendees have a brief break between meetings or an hour to enjoy a sit-down meal with colleagues, lunch is an event that every attendee looks forward to. It's that midday refuel they rely on and probably the most important meal to evaluate. 

Check out these healthy lunch ideas to inspire your menu planning for your next conference:

1. Make-Your-Own Salad Bar

Set up a salad bar buffet where conference attendees can customize their own salad bowls. 

You can provide a variety of fresh greens such as spinach, arugula, and romaine lettuce as the base. Then offer toppings such as sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, seeds, nuts, beans, cheese, or croutons for a crunch. 

For protein, consider offering grilled chicken, steak, hard-boiled eggs, and tofu cubes to cater to various dietary preferences.

2. Make-Your-Own Nourish Bowls

This buffet-style option is great when the weather is cooler outside and you want to provide attendees with a satisfying lunch without weighing them down.

Have your attendees craft their own “nourish bowls” starting with a base of healthy grains like quinoa, brown rice, or farro. Then, provide an assortment of vegetables such as roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed kale, steamed broccoli, and pickled carrots. 

Offer protein options like grilled salmon, chicken, tofu, or chickpeas. Lastly, give attendees the option to add healthy fats with avocado slices, toasted nuts or seeds, and a drizzle of tahini or olive oil. 

3. Wraps To-Go

When your conference schedule is tight and a buffet isn't feasible, consider convenient boxed lunches featuring sandwich wraps.

Offer attendees a choice between turkey, ham, or vegetable wrap options, accommodating various dietary preferences including vegetarian and vegan.

Enhance the boxed lunch with a side of fresh fruit such as apples, bananas, or grapes, along with options like carrots, celery, bell peppers, or a protein bar for a well-rounded meal.

table with big serving bowls of beans, corn, chicken, and cucumbers

3 Healthy Dinner Ideas For Your Next Conference

After a day filled with sessions and networking, give your conference attendees a chance to unwind with a healthy meal to close out the day.

When planning your conference dinner menu, consider using the Healthy Eating Plate method as a guide. Aim to allocate about one-fourth of the plate for whole grains, another one-fourth for protein, and half of the plate for fruits and vegetables. 

Here are four healthy dinner ideas to consider for your next conference:

1. Mediterranean Chicken Skewers with Greek Salad and Pita

Attendees love the variety and flavor of Mediterranean dishes, as well as their numerous health benefits.

The Mediterranean Diet, known for its emphasis on plant-based foods and healthy fats, has been linked to reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and various chronic conditions, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

During dinner, offer your attendees chicken, lamb, and vegetable skewers roasted and marinated in herbs and spices. 

Accompany the skewers with a refreshing Greek salad including tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, olives, and drizzled with olive oil and lemon.

Serve some whole wheat pita bread or rice on the side for a well-balanced meal. 

2. Stir-Fry with Brown Rice

Treat your conference attendees to a flavorful stir-fry featuring a medley of vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, snap peas, and mushrooms, drizzled with a savory Asian sauce enhanced with garlic, ginger, and sesame.

Serve the stir-fry over cooked brown or white rice and top with chicken, beef, or tofu for added protein that's packed with vitamins and minerals.

This could also be an exciting food station where guests can select their own stir-fry toppings and watch as they're cooked right in front of them.

3. Grilled Chicken, Quinoa, and Roasted Vegetables

Looking for a simple, yet healthy and delicious dinner option to offer attendees? 

Serve grilled chicken alongside quinoa and roasted vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini. You can include a variety of options such as rice alongside quinoa or beef as an alternative to chicken.

While simple, this dish lends itself well to buffet-style serving. 

4. Build Your Own Taco Bar

Set up a taco buffet with a variety of fillings and toppings for attendees to create their own customized tacos or taco salads. 

Offer options such as grilled chicken, black beans, sautéed vegetables, and fresh salsa. Provide whole grain or corn tortillas, lettuce leaves for wraps, and a selection of toppings like shredded cheese, diced avocado, Greek yogurt, and cilantro. 

plate of dark chocolate brownies with raspberries on top for dessert

Crafting Desserts with Wellness in Mind

Consider adding a memorable dessert at the end of dinner for attendees to enjoy, because after all, balance is key, isn't it? 

Often, dessert becomes the most memorable part of the entire meal, so it's important not to deprive attendees of the opportunity to indulge a little if they want. 

Offer a couple of dessert options after dinner like a light mango mousse, or cup of fresh fruit with a scoop of ice cream, or a no-sugar-added dark chocolate brownie with raspberries on top.

people toasting to drinks during a corporate conference event


Alcohol is common at most conferences, but what alternatives can you offer to help attendees avoid morning headaches? 

Besides sugary sodas and coffee, consider providing one of these five healthy drink options:

1. Infused Water Bar

Offer a variety of waters infused with fruits, herbs, and vegetables like cucumber-mint, strawberry-basil, and lemon-lavender.

2. Sparkling Water Mocktails

Create fun mocktails using sparkling water, fresh fruit juices, and garnishes like mint leaves and citrus slices. Examples include a grapefruit-rosemary spritzer or a blueberry-lime fizz.

3. Kombucha

Provide a variety of kombucha flavors, which are both refreshing and probiotic-rich.

4. Coconut Water Blends

Serve coconut water mixed with fresh fruit juices like pineapple or mango for a hydrating option.

5. Spiced Almond Milk

Serve chilled almond milk spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of vanilla for a creamy beverage.

Plan Your Next Corporate Event with GoGather

Need help planning your food and beverage menu for your next corporate event? Let’s chat about how GoGather can help you plan your best event yet. 

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Madison Shepherd

Madison Shepherd is a Marketing Specialist at GoGather. When she's not writing blogs or sending out social media posts, she enjoys hiking, traveling, or reading at one of the many beautiful beaches in San Diego.