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Photo: Plate with healthy food options. Photo: Vegetables. Photo: Schedule, business planner.

Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet FS1105

Workplace Wellness: Power Foods at Meetings and Healthy Power Lunches

  • Joanne Kinsey, MS, CFCS, CWWS, Family and Community Health Sciences Educator, Atlantic and Ocean Counties

Chickpea Dip

3 cloves garlic
¼ cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (19 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve at room temperature with pita chips, crackers, carrots, or other dipping vegetables.

Number of Servings: 4
Cups of Fruits and Vegetables per Person: .5

Nutritional information per ¼ of recipe:

Amount Per Serving

Calories 140

Calories from Fat 30

Daily Value (DV)*

Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 30mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 4g  
Protein 7g  
Vitamin A   2%
Vitamin C   6%
Calcium   8%
Iron   10%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Diabetic Exchange**
Fruit: 0 Vegetables: 0
Meat: 0 Milk: 0
Fat: 0 Carbs: 1
Other: 0

**Diabetic exchanges are calculated based on the American Diabetes Association Exchange System. This site rounds exchanges up or down to equal whole numbers. Therefore, partial exchanges are not included.

Very often food and beverages are an important part of business meetings. Keeping the food choices nutritious while keeping them simple, attractive, and staying within budget limits can be a daunting task. According to the USDA’s Healthy Guidelines for Americans, diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Also important to keep in mind is that diets rich in milk and milk products can reduce the risk of low bone mass throughout the life cycle. Meeting planners must make informed choices when adding food to the business agenda.

Why is the Food Planner Task so Challenging?

Meeting planners often find it difficult to design a meal or refreshment break menu that meets nutritional balance and is appealing to the meeting participants. It is good practice to inquire about food allergies, dietary restrictions, and religious, ethnic, or cultural food practices on meeting registration forms and before planning a menu. Another challenge is keeping the refreshment cost reasonable. A simple menu with fresh foods will likely be the most nutritious and cost efficient. Some planners may find it easier to purchase a selection of fresh fruit and pre-cut vegetables rather than use high cost menus from caterers.

Ready, Set, Plan a Healthy Meeting!

Choose a variety of foods that are low-fat, low in sugar, and low in calories. Remember to read labels to understand the ingredients in foods and to keep portion sizes reasonable. Keep in mind that a typical serving size of fruits or vegetables is ½ cup. Look for a food provider that offers healthy menu alternatives including low-sodium and low-fat options. Choose healthy foods and use the following suggestions as a guide:

Be sure to add a stretch break into the meeting agenda! Everyone appreciates a chance to stand and stretch after sitting for a long period of time.

Tips for Planning Successful Power Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Meetings

When the business meeting includes food it is important to make sure the food is nutritious, is relative to an appropriate serving size, attractive, interesting, and meets dietary needs. Snacks should contribute to the healthy diet of the meeting participants. By avoiding high fat, high sodium, and sweetened foods, the business can contribute to the health and wellness of its employees. Employers and employees benefit when healthy foods are part of the business agenda.

This fact sheet is one of a four-part series with titles Workplace Wellness: Healthy Eating While on the Job; Workplace Wellness: Ways to Increase Your Physical Activity on the Job; and Workplace Wellness: Stress Less on the Job also available.

Additional Information

For more information, visit these websites:

Photo credits:

September 2019