At MHA, we say the Freshman 10 has nothing on the MHA 20. With educational sessions, breakfasts, and luncheons in the building all the time and frequent emails of "Leftovers in the kitchen," associations in general are treacherous places to be on a diet.
And being a health-care-related association, we have even struggled with how to serve healthier options at these breakfasts and luncheons. Amanda Ridenhour and Stephanie Nilsson, both dietitians, offered some tips for workplaces in general in The Citizen-Times that could also help associations trying to offer healthier choices for members:
- Ask the caterer to use lower-fat or fat-free preparation methods, to serve added fats like dressing or condiments on the side, and to provide you with the number of calories and fat grams in entrees.
- Select entrees with about 12-15 grams of fat or less.
- Select items that are broiled, baked, grilled or steamed rather than fried or sauteed.
- Include whole-grain breads and skip the butter or margarine.
- Choose entrees in tomato-based sauces rather than cream, butter or cheese sauces.
- Include fresh fruit.
- Include at least one fresh vegetable with no butter or cream sauces added.
- Choose pasta, tofu and vegetable salads with fat-free or low-fat dressings.
- Choose lower-fat/lower-calorie dessert, like fresh fruit with low-fat yogurt dip, low-fat ice cream, or frozen yogurt, sherbet or sorbet.
- For breakfast meetings, offer fresh fruit, yogurt, bagels (with low-fat cream cheese, jam, or jelly), small or mini-muffins, fruit bread and granola bars.
- For box lunches, offer vegetarian options, whole-grain bread or pita wraps prepared without butter, margarine, mayonnaise or salad dressing, use low-fat meats, poultry or marinated tofu, stick to one-ounce portions of cheese, and use toppings such as lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, onions, pickles, mustard, ketchup or low-fat mayonnaise.
- For celebrations, cut cakes into small, 2-inch squares or serve angel-food cake with fruit topping.
- Have a salad or make-your-own sandwich assembly line.