If you’re throwing a party or event, it’s hard enough to figure out how to feed a ton of different guests with different tastes, allergies, and preferences. Keeping everything healthy might feel like a totally overwhelming concern. However, if you’re interested in choosing healthy food for your guests, the right choice of catering Richmond options could actually make your job as an event planner way easier. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a challenge even on a large scale. All you have to do is find the right catering professionals who will dedicate themselves to swapping out unhealthy options for fresh, organic foods for your guests to enjoy. Don’t feel intimidated by organic caterers or assume that healthy foods come at a higher price tag. If you’re looking for a heart-healthy catering option, here are a few things to think about when planning your event.
Change Up Hors-d’Oeuvres
Some events are traditional, others are casual, and others are strictly informational or work-related. If you want the theme or purpose of the event to dictate the menu choices, that’s absolutely fine. But don’t get caught up in the idea of more “formal” events requiring a traditional fixed-plate menu of steak and potatoes. Similarly, “casual” doesn’t have to mean hot wings and the occasional celery stick. No matter what type of event you’re planning, you can set the tone by selecting the right hors-d’oeuvres for the moment. Rather than finger foods like mini hotdogs or even bacon-wrapped asparagus, go for fresh grilled figs or bruschetta on toast. If you want your first course to be served buffet style or family style, offer up a wide selection of fruits and vegetables to create a salad station. Don’t go for the usual limp-looking lettuce and shredded carrots. Try to create an inventive, exciting array of vegetables and low-calorie salad dressings for your guests to choose from.
Don’t Settle for Conventional
Many event planners working within a budget tend to balk at the idea of an all-organic feast. However, the truth is that organic catering options don’t necessarily cost more than conventional fruits, vegetables, and meats. While organic foods have the reputation of being pricier, you can easily find a way to provide veggie-based organic options that won’t rack up a huge catering bill. Talk to your caterer beforehand and figure out how you can incorporate more organic dishes into the menu. Even if you can’t go full organic, cage-free, and grass-fed, you can certainly make compromises, like opting for all-organic produce and conventional meat and dairy or choosing to use less red meat on the menu.
Have Healthy Drink Options
Even if your main course is decked out with delectable leafy greens and iron-rich vegetables, the place where most people rack up the bulk of their calories is the bar. That means that focusing just on the food isn’t the right tactic. Planning a healthy event doesn’t just mean making sure there are enough non-alcoholic options at the bar. It means going out of your way to create an exciting non-alcoholic menu to rival the cocktail list. Don’t make your non-alcoholic beverage list seem like an afterthought. The more enticing your mocktail list is, the less your guests will want to reach for the booze. This will also serve as a thoughtful gesture extended to non-drinkers or gluten-intolerant individuals in attendance. Also, your cocktail options can also be toned down when it comes to extra calories. Don’t opt for store-bought mixers that come loaded with a ton of extra sugar and chemicals. Keep drinks simple and light, with the alcohol itself creating most of the calories. Don’t carry a ton of soda at the bar, and make sure what soft drinks you do carry use real sugar as a sweetener, rather than unhealthy substitutes and high fructose corn syrups.
Choose Salads as Starters
The key to any healthy meal is a ton of greens, vegetables, and substantial, heart-healthy proteins that won’t leave you feeling hungry. The beauty of opting for salad stations at an event is that it allows guests to have more control over what they eat. If you’re dealing with a ton of different preferences, allergies, and intolerances, the best way to make sure everyone stays happy is to offer a wide selection of greens, fruits, and vegetables for a fully customized dish. And when it comes to salads, no one said you had to stick with lettuce. You can offer a variety of rice, roasted veggies, and whole grains for guests to nibble on as well. Make sure you have a ton of different options to leave everyone feeling satisfied and in the mood for seconds.