JNR Spotlight: Brain Foods for Meetings

Not only should foods be wholesome and nutritious in everyday life, but when it comes to feeding the crowds at a meeting or conference they should also boost concentration and learning ability. This category of food has been labeled “Brain Food” and is used to improve mood, motivation and intellectual performance.

When learning is an important aspect of an event, maintaining steady blood sugar levels through complex carbohydrates and consumption of foods with low glycemic indexes can improve concentration and ultimately, ROI of the meeting.

“Brain Foods” improve brain function and increase alertness.  What we find though is foods that are traditionally served by caterers produce chemicals in the body that make participants unfocused and tired and should be avoided.

So what should you be serving at your next meeting to get the most out of your participants and see a higher ROI?

Breakfast:

  • Avoid sugary foods and those made with white flour such as doughnuts, Danishes and bagels (unless it is whole grain).
  • Offer meal options that are high in fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates and whole grains.
  • Fresh juices, antioxidant yogurt bars, hard-boiled eggs and cereals are great options.

Lunch:

  • Avoid meats that produce tryptophan in the brain, such as red meats and turkey.
  • Try to stay away from highly processed foods and replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid fatty foods that require more energy to break down. Ever felt tired or had a “food coma” after a big meal? This could be due to your body using a large amount of energy to break down the fat in the foods you just consumed.
  • Offer smaller options with proteins such as chicken and fish over a bed of quinoa, brown rice or whole-grain pasta.

Dinner:

  • Most of the day’s learnings will have been achieved by dinner so this is a meal where participants can enjoy traditional options including red meats.
  • Smaller portions are still a good option.

Snacks:

The following list was compiled by The National Conference Center and released in their paper The Science of Food for Thoughts: Enhancing Meetings Through Food.

  • H2O
  • Granola
  • Nuts
  • Blueberries
  • Yogurt
  • Mangoes
  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Whole Grain Breads
  • Hard-boiled Eggs
  • Peanut Butter
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Energy Bars

It is easy to see the benefit that a healthy and nutritious menu can have on participant experiences at meetings and conferences.  With hotels such as Omni Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Westin Hotels & Resorts introducing “Brain Food” options to their catering menus, the change can be easy.

If you would like to learn more about how you can increase the ROI of your meetings and conference through the introduction of “Brain Foods” please contact JNR. We would love to set up a time to talk about your organization’s needs. Give us a call at 800.343.4546, or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “Food is for eating and good food is to be enjoyed.” by Gloria Garcia  is licensed by CC by 2.0

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center

With its own airport as well as being situated within a half hour drive of LAX, Long Beach makes the perfect destination for meetings, conferences and tradeshows in sunny Southern California. This beach city is home to high-end hotels, an extensive-five-acre aquarium and now the newly redesigned Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.

This ten million dollar upgrade was completed in November of 2013 and features smart spaces that flow flawlessly from exhibit hall to meeting rooms to theaters and pavilions. To encourage networking and interactions between attendees, innovatively designed enclaves, sconces, conversation pods and lounges have been incorporated into the décor and furnishings. No cost has been spared for the customizable lighting and smart sound systems designed with mood-enhancing elements that result in a versatile special-events space.

The convention and entertainment center can accommodate 9,000 people but has the ability to change shape, size and atmosphere on command to create a truly customized experience that fits varying attendance numbers and make each event truly unique. The state-of-the-art moveable ceiling truss system allows event organizers to tailor the entire center’s ceiling to the exact height and specification desired – an innovative idea influences by TED conferences that have been held at this site for five years.

The location is perfect – right in the heart of downtown Long Beach where attendees can spend their spare time exploring the permanently docked RMS Queen Mary or enjoying the many maritime activities in the Mediterranean climate.

At the end of the day, organizers and attendees alike can enjoy a handcrafted cocktail while taking in the beautiful 360-degree views of Long Beach’s dynamic and vibrant landscape.

If you would like more information on how JNR can help you create a truly unique event at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center please email jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com  or give us a call at 949.476.2788.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.