Healthy Meeting Guidelines checklist cover

MSU Extension Healthy Meeting Guidelines


January 1, 2019 - <>, Breanne Carlson, Emily Pochubay,

This simple checklist helps ensure your internal and external meetings are both healthy and productive. If you download the file, you will have a printable PDF with a convenient checklist for your use. 

Please direct questions on the implementation of the healthy meeting guidelines to Dawn EarnestyBree Carlson or Emily Pochubay

Michigan State University Extension Standard Healthy Meeting Guidelines

Nutrition: Beverages

  • Make water the default beverage.
  • Do not offer full-calorie sugar-sweetened beverages.

Nutrition: Food

  • Offer fruits and/or vegetables every time food is served.
  • Offer reasonable portion sizes.
  • In buffet lines or self-service, support sensible portions by offering reasonably sized entrees and appropriately sized serving utensils and plates.
  • Use whole grains whenever possible (100% whole grain or whole grain as the first ingredient).
  • Serve healthier condiments and dressings and offer them on the side.
  • Look for and try to offer lower-sodium options.
  • Make the majority of the meat offered lean (unprocessed) meat.
  • Provide a vegetarian option.
  • For special occasions and dinner, cut desserts in half or serve small portions. For lunches, breaks, or regular meetings serve fruit as a dessert. 
  • Do not place candy or candy bowls in the meeting space.
  • Whenever possible, offer foods prepared in a healthy way (grilled, baked, poached, roasted, braised, or boiled). Avoid fried foods.

Physical Activity

  • Mention to attendees (through announcements or in written material) that it is fine to move within the meeting space (standing, stretching); integrate exercise equipment if possible within the space (exercise balls in place of some chairs, raised tables for standing).
  • Whenever possible, allow for comfortable clothes/shoes to support physical activity during breaks.
  • Periodically break up sitting time.
  • For conferences or all-day meetings, support physical activity before, during, and after the work of the day.
  • Provide adapted programming or alternative activities for those with physical disabilities.
  • Identify someone to facilitate a short physical activity break(s).


  • Reduce waste and packaging whenever possible.
  • Consider appeal to meeting attendees, sustainability, and usefulness of conference giveaways.
  • Consider locally sourced food and giveaways.
  • Have recycling bins available.
  • Provide handouts on a flash drive or make them available online to reduce paper


  • Meetings should be held in smoke-free facilities.




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