Planning your catering for any special occasion can be tough when it comes to making healthier food choices. When you’re the one in charge of hiring the caterer and deciding on the spread you’re going to offer, you will want to make sure there are options for everyone in attendance.
That means having some health-conscious options available in addition to the standard fare on the menu. This way you’re not leaving anyone on the guest list out of the equation. Even if you’re not watching out for dietary concerns of your own, others at your party might want to have the option for eating healthy.
So as you start to order catering Richmond, take some of these helpful suggestions for providing healthy choices for those among your group who are trying to count their calories or follow certain dietary restrictions.
You’re likely going to offer sodas and coffee if this is a work function, perhaps even some alcoholic beverages should the event call for them. But not everyone might want to consume drinks that are high in sugars and syrups.
For those individuals, present healthier options like water. Tap, mineral, sparkling, even soda water are all good options. Unsweetened fruit juices are also a great idea whether on their own or offered as mixers with your alcohol choices. Reduced-fat or skim milk should also be an option for those who want to drink that on its own or as an addition to coffee or tea, both of which you can put on the list.
If your catering is going to include some breakfast foods the thing to keep in mind is grains. Breakfast cereals that are made of whole grain are the best option. Bread and rolls should be high in fiber and multigrain choices should be available in addition to wheat and rye. Condiments such as jams and jellies should be lower in fats and sugar and in lieu of butter, offer margarine as a spread option.
Yogurts should also be low-fat or no-fat with plain or flavored varieties available. These can also be used for fruit smoothies but use unsweetened fruit juices in their composition.
Hot breakfast items can include pancakes made with low-fat milk in the batter, eggs that are scrambled, poached, or boiled with a small amount of oil used in their preparation. Try to avoid butter as well.
Any catering layout that has even the smallest concern for the health-conscious among the guests will naturally have some form of vegetable component. You have a couple of options in this department.
Raw veggies are pretty simple and straightforward and very popular as an option for those who want to remain on a heart-healthy regimen. Cooked veggies are also a good choice by preparing them on a grill or in the oven. Spinach, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, corn, all of these are great choices and provide nutritious and tasty meals for your guests.
When cooking, be sure to use less oil or butter in the preparation process. Your caterer should have some healthy alternative options as long as you explain that you want these foods to be healthy.
This goes for salad choices as well. You can add all kinds of healthy veggies into the mix, even introduce some pastas or eggs if you like, but be mindful of the dressing options you provide.
Alternative Salad Choices
We all know salads can be more than just greens and assorted veggies. There are pasta, potato, macaroni, and egg salads out there and while many of these types might contain mayonnaise and other additives that might not seem like healthy options, if you and your caterer remain mindful of the low-fat or no-fat options available for these ingredients, you can make them healthier to eat.
These are also a popular staple of many catering spreads and you have a wide array of options that can be presented to your group. But the meats you select can make the difference between a healthy catering table and one that isn’t quite up to the standard.
Turkey is the most popular choice and it’s typically the healthiest option you can choose. There are also many different types of ham and beef that you can include in your spread. But no matter what you decide to include in your presentation, you must be cognizant of a few things.
First is to be sure that your deli meats don’t have any additional preservatives or nitrates in the ingredient list. While the packaging on the deli meat will include this notice, it’s not something every catering company is sure to look for. So tell your caterer to use meats that have this disclaimer on them, otherwise you could be offering fewer healthy food choices to your guests.
In addition, be sure to avoid meats like pastrami, salami, and bologna as these are all produced with processing methods that include the addition of sodium, colorings, saturated fats, and other fillers that are not the healthiest ingredients to be eating. Even some hams and beefs will utilize these manufacturing processes so it can be tougher to find versions of each that fall on the healthy side.
Meat and Fish Entrees
Meats can be a tricky item because some are healthier than others and the way they are prepared can also help or hinder in the healthy choices department.
Chicken is typically the best choice but offering it with the skin removed is going to make it a much better choice for those who want healthier choices on their plate. Along with chicken are lean ham choices, with “off the bone” being the preferable version. Sliced roast beef and turkey breast are also smart options for those who want a meat component in their meal but don’t want to sacrifice eating healthy.
Fish is going to be an even smarter heart-healthy choice for those who want to make smarter dietary decisions. There are canned versions to choose from or fresh-cooked options. For the former, tuna and salmon canned in water are going to be better choices for healthy eating than fish that’s canned in oil.
Smoked salmon is a popular choice and good for you too. Most fish options be it tuna, salmon, tilapia, even shrimp can be prepared in healthy ways such as grilling, broiling, baking, you name it.