Organizing a healthy food talk, demo, and boxed lunch!

My latest shenanigan.

Just got off the phone with a company that specializes in the same, but for groups up to 50, and ideally we are planning for 200.

Idea is part of a women’s health and wellness forum for low income women of color, and venue is a big church in Oakland.

I wanted a demo, but priority is probably a brief discussion of nutrition, and boxed lunches.

There is a health insurance sponsor.

Can this work? Inspirational-diabetes-friendly-talk-demo- and- boxed-lunches for 200 -low-income-women-of-color-in-the-Bay Area?

I went to Healthy Kitchen Healthy Lives conference last year and gave it the side eye when I realized it was "plant forward ", but thought it was a good experience. The person I spoke to today mentioned quinoa, salad, and endive leaves, but I think black eyed or pigeon peas might be a better gateway. Maybe that’s just me.

Is this a regional or special diet discussion?


Of course it will work and what a great opportunity! I’ve organized some corporate health fairs, so message me, if you’d like.

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I will definitely take you up on that!

In the meantime, having searched “catering” on Hungry Onion, I was wondering how many here were familiar with catering this population in the N Cal Bay area, and catering boxed lunches for 200!

I’m trying to imagine what diabetes friendly boxed lunch I’d wait in line for, and the demo that might inspire me to try making it on a budget at home.

I just hear “vegan” and swoon.

I have zero experience with catering in your area. I do have some ideas however!


I’m diabetic so if u need help deciding what goes in the box, I can help

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Thank you!

I’ll see if I can condense my other thoughts about the rest of it into something resembling coherence later on, but I hafta say, as far as

is concerned… If they mentioned those particular items specifically after  you told them the audience would be “low income” anyone , methinks it’s time to move on to the next candidate…:wink:


Quinoa’s not that expensive if you know where to shop for it. Grocery Outlet has big 4-pound sacks of it all the time for about $1/pound. That’s barely more per pound than similarly-sized bags of rice.

I agree. As a starting point, maybe think about what’s available and affordable and meets the dietary requirements, and then work backwards to plan a menu. It would be so nice if your food reflected the recommendations you are making and was approachable for your audience.


Maybe something like this?

I wasn’t thinking quinoa was expensive, I just felt it might be better to start with something that might be more familiar. I think peas will be more familiar, but I’m also going through some other caterers websites, and the course material and recipes from Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives.

Could a few on this page from fitness magazine work in a 200 person catering situation?

Gluten-Free Wild Rice Hoppin’ John
Vegan Smoky Collard Greens and “Cheesy” Grits
Spicy Vegan Jambalaya
Lightened-Up Gumbo


Missing link

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I LOVE it! I’m going to be trying it this week.
Any thoughts about implying fresh tomatoes in March makes sense. It would be great to highlight what would be seasonal here at the time. Around then we will have sugar snaps, favas, green garlic, spring onions, etc.

Do you see that salad working in a boxed lunch for 200?

Maybe Kumatoes or sweet grape tomatoes?

I think this would hold pretty well.

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Thank you! Thanks everyone.

This is only my opinion, but when I make family favorites or traditional recipes, I am not looking to reinvent or cut calories. You might have better luck introducing some new weeknight meal ideas that are well-balanced and healthy using readily available ingredients. New “back pocket” recipes that will help parents and grandparents trying to eat better.


Does it have to be vegan, or just vegatable-centric? I like the bean salad idea, it’s nice to have something that keeps for a few days. Planning ahead is half the battle.

What type of kitchen space do you have for this and will you be giving out the recipes too?

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Good point. Perhaps one familiar ingredient is enough.

I reaize I am getting ahead of myself.

It doesn’t HAVE to be anything other than a demo or presentation with a realistic example of a healthyish lunch, in a 45 minute time frame, between two women’s health forums.

I’m planning on using a caterer, and was hoping the company I spoke to, that specializes in healthy food demo’s, would have ideas, but what they suggested in the consultation call made me wonder if they new the demographic like I (think) I do. They said they were open to menu suggestions.

Here’s the area where there could be a demo and/or talk, and the kitchen.

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I wonder if a “demo” is really practical for an audience of 200? That’s a lot of people, and especially without seating arranged to give everyone a clear view of the entire dais area, I think many of them wouldn’t be able to see what you were doing in any detail. It might be more useful to give a presentation using the boxed lunch as an “example” (either before or after the fact, depending on how that will be arranged), talking about the nutritional “purpose” and preparation of the components of the lunch, and possible variations on them? That and a couple-of-pages handout with recipes or guidelines and maybe a couple of short lists of nutritionally-similar, substitutable vegs (plus Interwebz references, if you can find decent ones) would give the presentation a clear focal point and the attendees concrete examples to extrapolate from later on , on their own…