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Healthy Meeting Guidelines

Establishing Healthy Meeting Guidelines for Tarleton State University will present a new culture of health and wellness on campus. The goal is to provide healthy options at meetings and conferences to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Meetings are also encouraged to include physical activity, host at a tobacco free site, and support sustainability. Meeting do not have to be dreary and tiresome. Incorporating these guidelines into your next meeting will be beneficial for all those involved.

Healthy Meeting Guidelines PDF



Standard Healthy Meeting

Water should always be available. Serve 100% juice, 100% juice diluted with water, low-fat or non-fat milk, calcium and vitamin D-fortified soymilk, or beverages with 40 calories per container or less. Full calories beverages or beverages sweetened with sugar should not be offered. Provide low-fat or non-fat milk to serve with coffee and tea service in place of half and half.

Superior Healthy Meeting

Includes all Standard Healthy Meeting recommendations, plus all sugar-sweetened beverages should be removed from the menu


Standard Healthy Meeting

Fruits and/or vegetables should always be an option at every meal or snack. Make sure portion sizes are practical and plates and other utensils are reasonably sized. Use whole grains whenever possible and serve healthier condiments and dressings on the side. Offer lower-sodium options. Poultry, fish, shellfish, or lean meats are the best choices when serving meat. Make sure a vegetarian option is available. If serving dessert, either cut it in half, serve smaller portions, or substitute with fruit. Candy or candy bowls should not be present. Food should be grilled, baked, poached, roasted, braised, or broiled, not fried.

Superior Healthy Meeting

Includes all Standard Healthy Meeting recommendations, while also only providing grains that are whole grain-rich (51% or more whole grains by weight or whole grain as the first ingredient). Serve only poultry, fish, shellfish, or on occasion lean meat options; seek alternatives to processed and red meats. Desserts and pastries should be replaced with fruit or other healthful foods. Do not make fried food available. If possible, provide nutrient information for all foods served.

Physical Activity

Standard Healthy Meeting

When possible, allow for comfortable clothes/shoes to support physical activity during breaks. Periodically break up sitting time and allow attendees to stand during the meeting. For conferences or all-day meetings, support physical activity before, during, and after the work of the day. Plan alternative or modified activities for individuals with disabilities. Plan on appointing someone to lead activity breaks in advance.

Superior Healthy Meeting

Includes all Standard Healthy Meeting recommendations, plus choosing meeting places that are within walking distance from hotels, restaurants, etc. and include maps of nearby places. If contracting with a hotel, make sure there is a fitness facility available at no cost for the attendees. If necessary, contract with a nearby fitness center. If possible, make exercise equipment available in the meeting room or a hallway. Try to host walking meetings when possible.


Standard Healthy Meeting

Find meeting places that are considered "smoke-free facilities".

Superior Healthy Meeting

Includes all Standard Healthy Meeting recommendations, plus always providing a tobacco free environment.


Standard Healthy Meeting

Decrease the use of packaging or waste materials whenever possible. Have recycling bins available. Provide handouts on a flash drive or use an online version instead of paper.

Superior Healthy Meeting

Includes all Standard Healthy Meeting recommendations, plus conducting a zero-waste meeting or conference. If possible, use locally-sourced and sustainably-produced food and giveaways.

Example of Beverages

Standard Healthy Meeting

  • Pitchers of water
  • 100% fruit or vegetable juice or 100% juice diluted with water or seltzer, with modest-sized cups or containers (less than 8 ounces)
  • Beverages with 40 calories or less per container
  • Coffee - regular and decaf with low-fat milk instead of half and half
  • Tea - unsweetened, ice or hot, with lemon and low-fat milk instead of half and half
  • Low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk

Superior Healthy Meeting

No sugar-sweetened beverages (includes soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and all other beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, sugar, honey, or agave syrup).

Meal Suggestions


  • Always serve fruit. It can be cut or chopped for easier eating or served whole.
  • Oatmeal with cinnamon, nuts, and dried or fresh fruit.
  • Low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt with fresh berries, or other cut fruit.
  • Whole grain cereal low in sugar (lower than 6g/serving) and high in fiber
  • Fiber-rich, whole grain breads (small whole grain bagel 3.5 in in diameter, whole wheat English muffins, whole wheat toast)
  • Spreads: peanut butter, other nut butters, low-fat cream cheese, hummus
  • Scrambled eggs, egg whites, or eggsubstitute with vegetables (bell peppers, spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes)
  • Breakfast burrito: scrambled eggs, eggwhites, or egg substitute, onions, peppers, black beans, salsa, whole grain tortilla


  • Use whole grain bread or whole grain wraps
  • Lean meats, poultry, seafood, or non-meat
  • Proteins: sliced turkey, chicken, fish (tuna,shrimp,salmon), egg, tofu, hummus, or bean spread
  • Any vegetable


  • Broiled, baked, grilled, poached, sautéed, or roasted lean meats, poultry, seafood, or tofu in appropriate portion sizes
  • Bell peppers or tomatoes stuffed with brown rice and vegetables
  • Whole grain pasta with tomato-based sauce and vegetables
  • Main dish salads


  • Sliced fruit: melon, kiwis, oranges, apples, pineapple, peaches
  • Easy to eat or peel fruit: bananas, grapes, berries, clementines
  • Vegetable tray with hummus
  • Pepper strips and cucumber slices with salsa
  • Natural dried fruit
  • Unsalted nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews with fruit, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds)
  • Plain yogurt with berries


  • Mixed greens and assorted vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots, peppers)
  • Spinach salad with mandarin oranges and toasted almonds
  • Roasted vegetables (carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, squash, beets)
  • Fruit salad
  • Brown rice, whole grain pasta, couscous, or quinoa with vegetables
  • Black beans
  • Curried lentils
  • Vegetable platter: carrot sticks, celery, broccoli, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas with hummus or salsa

How to Incorporate Physical Activity

Before the Meeting

Provide maps of local trails to run/walk on. When selecting hotels, make sure they have a fitness center available for the attendees. Provide information about the hotel's fitness center and allow time in the meeting schedule (morning or afternoon usually) for attendees to exercise. Incorporate physical activity into the meeting agenda.

During the Meeting

It is helpful to hire an enthusiastic person to help lead exercise breaks during the meeting. Physical activity should not be too strenuous during the meeting. Participants should not perspire. Provide Stability balls in place of chairs at the meeting table. 

Appropriate Physical Activity in a Meeting

  • Allow people to stand up during the meeting
  • Encourage attendees to stand up when applauding
  • Get attendees to walk around and network with each other
  • Chair exercises such as toe raises, knee lifts, arm circles, trunk twists
  • Stretches such as calf stretch, quad stretch, neck/head circles, back stretches, across body arm stretch, shoulder rolls
  • Standing exercises such as marching in place, side lunges, arm circles, arm swings, side steps

Give Some Incentives to Participate in Activities. Fun giveaways would include flash drives, tote bags, water bottles, lunch bags, baseball caps, and t-shirts. Healthy giveaways would include a jump rope, gym membership, cooking supplies, fitness book, and gift card for athletic store or grocery store.

Attendees with Disabilities

Give everyone that is attending the meeting an opportunity to inform you of any needs they may have during the meeting or any physical activity restrictions. Provide modifications to physical activity if possible.

Sustainability Tips

Use recyclable materials throughout the meeting (paper, plastic, metal, glass) and have separate bins for trash, recycling, or compost. Provide meeting materials online or on flash drives instead of paper. Choose foods that do not require utensils and try to use reusable decorations, not disposable ones. Offer drinks and condiments in bulk instead of individual packages. Serve food on platters instead of individual boxes.

Tobacco Definition and Tips

Definitions of Smoke Free Facility

Smoking is not permitted indoors within 15-20 feet of working windows, entrances into buildings, or any kind of ventilation system (ex: lobbies, hallways, elevators, common areas, etc.). Smoking includes inhaling, exhaling, burning tobacco or a plant product, or carrying a lighted/heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe.

Definition of a Tobacco Free Environment

Smoking or any kind of tobacco use is not permitted indoors. Outdoor use is prohibited if the property is owned or leased (including parking lots). Tobacco products include any substance containing tobacco leaf or derivatives of tobacco, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts, e-cigarettes, and clove cigarettes.