These suggestions were developed by the Williams Wellness Initiative and have been approved by the Vestry.
Here are some suggestions to help make hospitality hour an especially healthy time. It’s not necessary that everything at coffee hour meet all these suggestions on any given day.
Many people like to provide some special foods they want to share. As long as an effort is made to also offer some healthier choices, it should be possible for coffee hour guests to find some things they can safely enjoy based on their own health needs.
- Avoid saturated and trans fat. Saturated and trans fat can particularly show up in processed foods and commercial baked goods (even crackers). Because of the health risks, the federal government requires that food labels list the amount of saturated and trans fat per serving. Look for foods with zero saturated and trans fat.
- Offer healthy beverages, especially to children. Avoid high sugar and low nutrition beverages such as soda and punch in favor of more nutritious beverages like fruit juice. (Since fruit juices are often also high in sugar, consider using small glasses or diluting the juice a bit.) Sparkling water is a calorie-free option.
- Make lower-sodium options available. Fresh fruits and vegetables are often great in this regard.
- Downsize portions. For items that can be portioned out it can be helpful to make smaller servings available. This can be especially easy with desert items as many can be cut into smaller pieces.
- Recognize the diverse needs of our community. For example, some of us have to be very careful about salt intake but it may not be a problem for others. Similarly, some can safely enjoy reasonable portions of dessert treats; others cannot safely eat sweets at all. Some of us avoid cheese because of the fat in it; others welcome a little cheese to balance out sweeter foods (like fruit). Some people may not tolerate lactose or gluten. So it’s helpful to provide a variety of different kinds of food.
- Reduce sweets. Avoid having too many kinds of sweets or large quantities. Cutting sweets into smaller portions or placing them on a separate table can help most people eat more moderate portions, or avoid them altogether if needed.