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Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is making it easier to eat healthy at agency-sponsored meetings and events. DOH recently updated procedures in two food-procurement policies. The new procedures state that meetings and events must be planned using "Washington State Guidelines to Help Energize Your Meetings." Energize Your Meetings (pdf) uses a rating system (from one to five stars) to help meeting planners and caterers select foods to offer for a healthy meeting. The document includes food and beverage standards, sample menus, a list of recommended foods and beverages, and suggestions for physical activity. After sharing Energize with caterers, at least one incorporated the food and beverage standards into per diem menu choices.
The Nutrition and Physical Activity Program at DOH developed Energize Your Meetings in partnership with event caterers and the department's Office of Health Promotion, administrative staff, Health and Productivity team, and policy committee.
Questions related to food at meetings will be added to the department's annual wellness survey to see if people think food served at meetings has changed since the procedures were updated. The Procurement Office will also track changes in food purchases documented on the pre-approval form. An online survey will be used to assess training needs for meeting planners.
Featured: Winter 2008
Employees, meeting attendees, caterers
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