Hey there, fellow foodies and office warriors! How’s it going in your corner of the corporate jungle? Let’s be honest, we’ve all been to those corporate events where the catering seemed to be an afterthought. The events where you walk in, and there it is: the dreaded buffet table. Trays piled high with greasy, fried food and sugary treats that make your taste buds sing but leave you feeling sluggish, bloated, and basically ready for a nap under the nearest table. 

It’s hard to stay focused and engaged at a corporate event when you’re battling a food coma, right?

It’s time to elevate your corporate catering game! In this blog post, we’ve got some fantastic tips and ideas that’ll take your corporate catering game to the next level! Our goal is to help you transform your catering into a healthy food and delicious experience that will leave your employees feeling energised and ready to take on any challenge. We’ve got you covered, from those with dietary restrictions to vegans and vegetarians!  So, sit tight and get ready to explore a world of mouth-watering and healthy goodness!

Why Healthy Food Matter At Work Events

You might be thinking, “Why should I bother with healthy food at a corporate event? It’s just one meal, right?” Well, turns out the food we eat actually has a huge impact on our lives in many ways, and making the healthy choice is super important for overall well-being. Here’s why we have to consider serving healthy food at work:

  • Long-term health: Eating healthy, nutrient-packed meals regularly can help avoid serious issues like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. By offering good-for-you options at work, you’re backing up your employees’ journey to stay fit and well for the long haul.
  • Mental well-being: What we eat doesn’t just affect our bodies – it also has a big impact on our minds. Eating well can help keep our moods steady, lower stress, and boost our mental health.
  • Environmental impact: Choosing healthier, locally-grown, and plant-based foods can really cut down on the environmental impact of your catering. So, by going green with your food choices, you’re not only looking out for your employees’ health but also doing something good for the planet.

Below are a few tips to help you elevate your corporate catering game and make healthier choices at your next event.

healthy food - corporate catering

Bye-bye, deep-fried!

If you’re in charge of organising catering for a corporate event, consider saying goodbye to deep-fried dishes. Sure, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as biting into a crunchy, crispy piece of fried chicken. While this may be tasty, this is not the healthiest option, and your attendees may appreciate having some healthier choices. Here are some tips for ditching the deep-fried in favour of more nutritious alternatives in your corporate catering:

  • Grilled to perfection: Swap out deep-fried meats or vegetables for grilled options. Grilling imparts a delicious smoky flavour while using less oil and retaining the natural nutrients of the ingredients.
  • Baked goodness: Baking is another fantastic alternative to deep-frying, as it requires little to no oil. Try oven-baked sweet potato fries, baked falafel, or crispy baked chicken tenders for a healthier twist on your favourite fried dishes.
  • Steamed and satisfying: Steaming is a gentle cooking method that preserves the nutrients in food without the need for added fats. Offer steamed vegetable dishes, dumplings, or even steamed fish to provide a lighter, yet flavorful option.
  • Stir-frying and sautéing: These cooking techniques use significantly less oil than deep-frying, and they’re perfect for creating delicious, veggie-packed dishes. Incorporate colourful stir-fries or sautéed dishes into your catering menu for a tasty and nutritious alternative.
  • Air-frying: This innovative cooking method mimics the crispiness of deep-frying but with a fraction of the oil. Consider incorporating air-fried snacks like zucchini fries or cauliflower bites to offer a healthier take on crunchy favourites.

healthy food - vegetable skewers

Veggie Power

When it comes to healthy food catering, embracing the power of vegetables is a no-brainer. Vegetables are packed with essential nutrients, fibre, and antioxidants, making them a vital part of any balanced meal. Plus, they can be incredibly tasty when prepared right! Explore how you incorporate vegetables into your catering below:

  • Make vegetables the star: Instead of relegating vegetables to side dishes, create enticing main courses that feature vegetables as the star. Think of dishes like stuffed bell peppers, vegetable curry, or a hearty vegetable stir-fry.
  • Sneak them in: Find creative ways to incorporate vegetables into dishes where they might not be expected. Add shredded veggies to meatballs or burgers, mix pureed vegetables into pasta sauces, or create veggie-packed casseroles.
  • Plant-based protein: Showcase plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, tofu, or tempeh in your menu to offer nutritious and eco-friendly alternatives to animal protein. These options can be just as satisfying and delicious when prepared well.
  • Veggie-inspired snacks: Swap out traditional, less-healthy snacks with veggie-based options like veggie sticks with hummus, kale chips, or roasted chickpeas. These snacks can provide a satisfying crunch without the guilt.

healthy food - vegetables

Healthy Fats are Friends

Fat often gets a bad rap, but not all fats are created equal. While it’s important to limit unhealthy trans and saturated fats, incorporating healthy fats into your corporate catering menu can not only add flavour and richness to dishes but also provide numerous health benefits. Here are some ways to incorporate healthy fats effectively into your corporate catering menu:

  • Choose the right oils: Opt for cooking oils that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like olive oil or canola oil. These oils not only contribute to heart health but also add a rich flavour to dishes.
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are a tasty source of healthy fats, fibre, and protein. Sprinkle them on salads, incorporate them into grain dishes, or offer them as a nutritious snack option.
  • Avocado: This versatile fruit is not only delicious but also packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Add avocado slices to sandwiches, whip up a batch of guacamole, or use it as a base for creamy dressings.
  • Fatty fish: Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, or sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart and brain health. Include fish dishes in your menu rotation or offer a grilled fish option at your next corporate event.

healthy oil

Sweet Treats, Minus the Guilt

Everybody loves a little something sweet now and then, but traditional desserts can be loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats. Luckily, there are plenty of guilt-free treats that can satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your health goals. Here’s how you can include healthier sweet options in your corporate catering:

  • Fruit-catering platters: Opt for catering platters that incorporate fresh fruits, such as fruit salads, fruit skewers, or baked apples. These naturally sweet treats provide essential vitamins and fibre while keeping added sugars to a minimum.
  • Dark chocolate: Swap out milk chocolate for dark chocolate, which is lower in sugar and boasts a higher percentage of cocoa. Dark chocolate is not only delicious but also rich in antioxidants, making it a more nutritious indulgence.
  • Whole-grain treats: Instead of using refined flour, choose desserts made with whole grains like oatmeal cookies, whole wheat muffins, or quinoa-based bars. These options are higher in fibre and nutrients, helping to keep you full and satisfied.

fruit skewers

Power up with Lean Proteins

Protein is an essential nutrient for our bodies, playing a crucial role in building and repairing tissues, supporting a healthy immune system, and providing a lasting source of energy. Not only will these proteins help your employees feel fuller for longer, but they’ll also provide the essential amino acids needed to keep their brains firing on all cylinders. Boost your catering offerings with these lean protein options:

  • Opt for lean cuts: When selecting meat options, choose lean cuts like skinless chicken breasts, turkey, or lean beef. These cuts are lower in saturated fats and calories while still providing high-quality protein.
  • Go fish: As mentioned earlier, fish is not only a great source of healthy fats but also an excellent provider of lean protein. Incorporate a variety of fish options, such as grilled or baked, into your menu rotation for a nutrient-rich choice.
  • Egg-cellent options: Eggs are a versatile and affordable source of high-quality protein. Offer dishes like veggie-packed frittatas, egg salad, or hard-boiled eggs as a protein boost in your catering menu.
  • Dairy delights: Low-fat dairy products like Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, or quark can also provide a good dose of protein. Consider offering a yoghurt bar with a selection of toppings, or include cottage cheese as a side dish option.

lean meat

Whole Grains for the Win

Whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet, providing fibre, vitamins, and minerals that help maintain digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels, and support overall well-being. By incorporating whole grains into your corporate catering menu, you’ll be offering employees nutrient-dense options that keep them full and satisfied. Here’s how to incorporate whole grains in your corporate catering menu:

  • Swap out refined grains: Replace white rice, pasta, or bread with their whole-grain counterparts, like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, or whole grain bread. These swaps not only add nutrients but also enhance the texture and flavour of your dishes.
  • Grain bowls for the win: Offer build-your-own grain bowl stations where employees can choose from a variety of whole grains, proteins, veggies, and dressings. This customizable option encourages healthier choices while catering to individual tastes and dietary preferences.
  • Whole-grain snacks: Keep whole-grain snacks on hand for employees to enjoy. Whole-grain crackers, popcorn, or rice cakes can provide a satisfying crunch without the guilt of traditional snack foods.

whole grains

Don’t Forget Hydration

While focusing on a healthy food menu is essential, it’s equally important not to overlook the significance of hydration. Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining optimal body functions, boosting energy levels, and improving mental clarity. Help your employees quench their thirst with healthier beverage choices by incorporating these hydration ideas into your corporate catering:

  • Infused water stations: Add a fun twist to plain water by offering infused water stations with a variety of fresh fruits, herbs, and even veggies.
  • Skip the soda: Limit the availability of sugary sodas and opt for healthier alternatives like sparkling water, iced tea, or freshly squeezed fruit juices.
  • Herbal tea: Offer a selection of caffeine-free herbal teas for employees to enjoy hot or cold. Herbal teas come in various flavours and can provide a calming or invigorating experience while keeping hydration levels in check.
  • Smoothie stations: Smoothies made with fresh fruits, veggies, and water or milk alternatives can be a delicious and hydrating treat. Set up a DIY smoothie station where employees can blend their favourite ingredients for a personalised and nutritious beverage.

infused water

Portion control is key

Even with the healthiest food options, it’s essential to remember that moderation is crucial. Overeating, even nutrient-dense foods, can still lead to weight gain and other health issues. By promoting portion control in your corporate catering, you’ll help employees enjoy a balanced meal without overindulging. Here’s how to keep portions in check:

  • Serve smaller plates: Studies have shown that using smaller plates can trick the brain into thinking it’s eating more, leading to reduced portion sizes. Swap out larger plates for smaller ones to encourage more mindful eating.
  • Pre-portioned dishes: Offer pre-portioned meals or snacks to help employees gauge appropriate serving sizes. This can be especially helpful for dishes that are easy to overeat, like pasta, rice, or dessert.
  • Buffet-style strategies: If you’re offering a buffet-style meal, arrange the healthier options at the beginning and the less healthy food options towards the end. This encourages employees to fill their plates with nutritious choices first, leaving less room for the less healthy options.

Final thoughts

If you’re looking to treat your team to tasty and nourishing meals at your upcoming corporate event, it’s essential to collaborate with the finest corporate caterer that specialises in delivering healthy food options. In Melbourne, that premier choice is Brisk Corporate Catering! We recognize the importance of nutritious food choices for maintaining a satisfied and efficient workforce. That’s why we provide a comprehensive selection of wholesome alternatives that are guaranteed to delight your team. So why wait? Reach out to us today to elevate your corporate catering experience and foster a healthier, happier workplace!