Our Stories

Every person, every event and every achievement at Figtree is a story to be told. Discover the stories behind who we are, how we make a difference, what we have going on and what is making news!

Healthy food: the secret ingredient for your next successful conference

by on July 02, 2019 in News & Events


Most conference presenters dread speaking after lunch.

After the morning’s presentations and a big midday meal, many conference goers are ready to nod-off. They have difficulty concentrating and anything the speaker says goes in one ear and out the other.

Why do we feel so tired after eating?

Feeling sleepy after a big meal is normal. Our body’s digestive system is working hard to extract energy from our food to fuel our day.

Eating also stimulates the release of insulin. This helps process the glucose in our bloodstream. The release of insulin triggers increased production of serotonin and melatonin. Both are natural chemicals and neurotransmitters that make us feel calm, contented – and sleepy.

Carbohydrates, like pasta, white bread, rice and potatoes are particularly good at boosting the production of these chemicals.

How to choose healthy food options for your conference catering

So, is it possible to organise healthy food for your conference to avoid the afternoon slump and keep your conference delegate bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?
Which food choices will help keep your conference attendees energised?
After all, according to medical experts, the brain uses around 20% of the body’s energy. It needs the right type of fuel to concentrate.

Though there’s no magic formula, certain foods are ‘lighter’ and generally better for you.

  • Fresh fruit– it’s hard to beat fresh fruit as a conference snack. Whether it’s served whole or sliced-up for easy snacking, fresh, seasonal fruit is an excellent healthy option for breakfast, morning and afternoon breaks and after a main meal.
  • Wholegrains – wholegrain bread, wraps, pasta or crackers are a better alternative to more processed foods.
  • Lean protein – leaner meat cuts, such as skinless chicken, are better choices than more processed meats (like salami). For the non-meat eaters, choose plant-based protein using nut butters, lentils, nuts and beans.
  • Salads & dips – imaginative salads, dressed with olive oil and low-fat salad dressing are a delicious meal or side-dish. Hummus or guacamole dip can also make a tasty snack or salad accompaniment with sliced vegetables.
  • Healthy desserts – fresh fruit is the best dessert to avoid the post-snack slump.
  • Unsalted seeds and nuts – these are excellent snacks during your meeting.

Foods to avoid when catering for your next conference

  • Pizza, fried foods and high-fat, high salt meats – heavy, rich food is instantly satisfying, but can weigh you down an hour or so after eating.
  • Sugar-laden biscuits, drinks and desserts – everyone loves a treat. But unfortunately, soft-drinks, choc-chip cookies, sugary sweets, muffins and pastries are a sure way to send your conference attendees off to sleep.
  • Cheese platters – in moderation, a well-selected cheese platter can be a good snack or an alternative to dessert. But it’s a good idea to avoid too much creamy cheese and crackers.

Don’t forget portion size

When you’re offering a smorgasbord-style meal, it’s even more important to make sure you’re offering healthy options. If you’ve organised for individual meals to be served, ensure that your portions are reasonable, but not too large.

Your choice of healthy food options at Figtree Conference Centre

At Figtree Conference Centre, we believe in serving healthy food – that’s also delicious!

Whether it’s a simple lunch of sliders or wraps accompanied by fresh salads, a generous spread of grazing platters or a formal meal, we’ll help make your conference or meeting a successful one.

Of course, we can also include a selection of freshly made ‘treats’ so your conference participants feel they have a choice.

We love to hear from our guests after an event. Here are just a few comments from conference organisers:

“Everyone always comments on how good the food is at Figtree. All we have to do is ask and our every request is promptly attended to.”
Paula Zanco |Teachers Mutual Bank

“The food was fresh and delicious.”
Michelle & Karen | Department of Health

“The selection is excellent.”
Tina Irving | Solitaire Consulting

“Amazing options.”
Fiona MacColl – Office of Sport

Contact our conference organiser Sue to discuss your next event on 02 9393 9051 or by email.

Take a look at our Sample Menus