Healthy Eating for a Healthy Meeting

Lunchtime is often a crucial time to cool off during a day of work, a conference or a meeting. But without carefully considering the nutritional value of this midday meal, people can often end up in a post-breakfast crisis, or even pull on their tight size over the weeks.

The seemingly balanced meal options can hide a lot of calories. A typical boxed lunch of a turkey sandwich, an apple, a small bag of potato chips and a cookie can stack up to close 1,400 calories. With National Nutritional Guidelines recommending about 700 calories per meal, eating these extra calories even once a week can add up to a gain of over 10 pounds a year.

Sweet sodas, juices and other artificially sweetened beverages also play a prominent role in the sabotage of a healthy diet. Michael Moss, author of Fat Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hanged Us says Americans drink 46 gallons of soft and sugary drinks each year, contributing to the consumption of 71 pounds of sugar and 85 pounds of corn syrup each year.

Kaiser Permanente has enabled employees, patients and visitors to enjoy healthier options without having to guess and count calories through guidelines that contain criteria for making healthier food choices. Established in 2005 by the Healthy Picks Committee – a group of dietitians, food service managers, nutritionists and licensed physicians – these guidelines help identify options for inpatients and cafeterias. The guidelines also serve as a basis for Kaiser Permanente's Healthy Food Policy, which requires suppliers who provide meals for on-site meetings and events to provide healthy food options, such as at Kaiser Permanente Center 19459004 .

The Center for Total Health is committed to partnering with organizations to organize healthy encounters that stimulate concentration and creativity in serving nutritious foods and incorporating healthy eating. Activity in meetings that might otherwise be sedentary. By requiring that caterers who provide food at the Center adhere to policy guidelines, event organizers and attendees are assured that they are having healthy and delicious meals during their meetings.

Inspired by Kaiser Permanente's commitment to healthy eating habits, workplaces and employees can work together for everyone to participate in sharing healthy meals:

Encourage employees to make water interesting by infusing fruits, vegetables and herbs, as in those healthy beverage recipes ;
Offer healthier drinks on-site, such as sparkling water, tea and coffee, rather than sugary drinks;
Plan a Social Smoothie and educate your employees about the excessive sugars found in many prepared smoothies, then work together to get healthier smoothies including unsweetened yogurt as a protein and base, fresh whole fruits instead of juices, nutritious vegetables like spinach and kale, and additions such as nuts, spices or herbs; and
Organize a Build Your Own Salad (BYOS) event and invite employees to bring their favorite ingredient to a salad bar.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts internal and external educational events. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – offer healthy dining options and can be customized to incorporate interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total Health experience fun and informative for the participants. If your organization wishes to organize an event, please send us an Event Request via our website. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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