Getting back into traveling after years of being remote can be tough, let alone having to plan time to eat while on the road! Being onsite does not allow for much time to eat and as an attendee, the times that are available to eat may not always have the healthiest choices. We will break down how to prioritize healthy eating for yourself and your attendees.
Personal Meal Time
When gearing up to leave, build a schedule or set timers to allow yourself 5 minutes for a snack. If there is no time to head to the store, place an order to ship a few items to yourself or plan for a grocery delivery. We know there is never a time to sit down and eat so before you finish packing your bag, consider healthy but non-perishable items to have on hand.
You’ll need snacks that will maintain your energy and keep you full such as pre-made protein shakes, apple and almonds, protein bars, veggie or fruit chips, etc. Cold water is a great asset to wake you up and to curb your hunger!
Plan and Enjoy
Don’t be caught off guard. Rather, have a plan in place for what you will eat and bring it with you if you can. Many temptations greet us on the road, and “travel food” is often high in sodium, preservatives, sugar, and myriad other ingredients which are hard on your body.
At the same time, remember to enjoy the local cuisine. With responsible habits in place during transit and working on site, you will have afforded yourself room to enjoy some of the indulgences that make your destination famous.
Options for the Attendee
Many properties have added a few healthy options to their menus but there is much more room to grow. Now that events are happening more often than not, catering teams are anxious to get back to delivering menus and more willing to get creative off- menu with you.
Given the climate that the pandemic has created, grab’n’go options offer the least contact and have become more popular offerings at conferences. Examples of this include protein smoothie shooters, granola bars on a stick, egg bites, mini yogurt parfaits, and protein energy balls.
When selecting healthy options to offer, have the catering team make them visually appealing and easy to grab. Consider listing the general ingredients in each item so the attendee knows what exactly they are eating. Having a visual added to the overall experience will help the attendee feel confident in knowing they are having a healthy choice.
You may also consider asking the hotel or venue for options nearby which are not fast food, for small bites. Then include these options in your communications to attendees so they will know what their options are between the catered functions of your program.
Here’s to healthier travels for all!
Mark Harvey, CMP, CMM | Principal | Ethos Meetings and Events
Christina Pino, CMP, DES | Director, Conference Design & Logistics | Stellato Meeting Solutions