Good, Better, Best: Snack Stations for Your Educate Meeting

Make sure your attendees get the lift they need to be active participants while they learn.

Snack stations should never be an afterthought, particularly when planning a training or Educate event. It’s easy to get swept up in planning the main menu, but the right snacks are essential to give your attendees the nutritional oomph they need to be productive all day.

In fact, you might want to start with your snack station strategy. To help, we’ve come up with three options that suggest ways to go small or biggish and still be sure that your snacks are healthy and flavorful. As research by the Center for Science in the Public Interest points out, healthy snacks help increase energy and the ability to focus.

Here are our good, better and best options for Educate snack stations:

Good: Grab-and-Go Nutrition

If you need to feed your attendees while they’re on the move between sessions, try a grab-and-go station. You could serve little packages of nuts or individual servings of cheese nuggets in small clear cups, for instance.

Another option: healthy mendiants—dark chocolate patties with nuts and dried fruits mixed in. These might be small (and pretty), but they also pack some protein without loading your attendees up with sugars or sodium. The protein from the nuts and dried fruits provide the energy boost that empty high-caloric options cannot.

Grab and Go Nutrition

Better: Healthy Bites and Sips

To really arm your attendees with energy, whether midmorning or midafternoon, consider pairing nutritious crunchy options with fresh-squeezed beverages. By adding a juice or a smoothie, you’ll encourage your attendees to slow down for a minute to rejuvenate.

One way to go is to set up a station with multiple snacking choices. That way, you’re sure to offer a treat that appeals to most if not all participants. Make several options bite-sized or small enough that your attendees can graze and network. Including packaged nutrition bars tucked in glass jars or other containers can add a pop of color and shine, too.

Healthy Refreshments

Best: Full-Service Station

If you plan a lengthy day of intense meetings, you might want to indulge your attendees with a bit longer break—almost a mini meal—so they can rest their minds and nourish their bodies. To ensure freshness, plan for hosted stations, where servers can make snacks to order, such as personalized power-booster smoothies or single-serve cheese and meat sliced on the spot.

Another approach? A deli station. This tended setup could serve guests small sandwiches with a protein component—just-prepared meats or farm-to-table cheeses—served on fresh rolls. This approach is ideal if you expect attendees to plug away for hours after the lunch service. On the side, you could include veggie chips tossed with herb seasonings, as well as fresh juices or infused water.

Sandwich Refreshments

Now, go get noshing. It’s good for your brain.