more »" />

Boxed Lunches

by Meghann on February 22, 2011

The dreaded conference boxed lunches….


One of the hardest parts of planning any conference or event is the food. It’s really, really hard to please 200+ people at meal times, especially on the cheap. So, I totally get the whole concept behind the boxed lunches, BUT it doesn’t mean I’ve gotta like it. 😛


We had the choice of Turkey, Ham, or Roast Beef for lunch today. I grabbed the Turkey at first, but wasn’t impressed with the white bun or american cheese. Blah.


Luckily I walked by someone with the Roast Beef and instantly drooled over this ciabatta bun and swiss cheese. I <3 swiss!


Much better. 🙂

I enjoyed the Roast Beef with mustard


A side of apple


And a mini container of Potato Salad for lunch


Can’t forget the great company!


Katy and I split a Doubletree cookie for dessert.


What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a conference setting?

I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget the amazing lunch spread we had at Healthy Living Summit last year.

IMG_5139.JPG IMG_5140.JPG IMG_5142.jpg IMG_5143.JPG IMG_5156.JPG

All the praise for that goes to Kath. That girl knows how to please the masses!

1 Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin February 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm

The Healthy Living Summit DEFINITELY had the best food of any conference I’ve ever been to – and I do conferences for a living! That said, they are not healthy living conferences so it figures.
Beth @ Beth’s Journey to Thin recently posted..Me – 1- Wind – 0

2 Kiran February 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I am seriously missing you both and the fun! 🙁
Kiran recently posted..Wordless- New York City &amp Washington DC

3 Stacy @ Every Little Thing February 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Most of my conference boxed lunches looked like the above. I had a lunch at an Autism conference once and they tried to have a speaker with Asperger’s Syndrome speak while people were eating lunch. It was a TERRIBLE idea – he was distracted, we were distracted, and he couldn’t concentrate from all the silverware and dish clanging! I felt really bad for him.

Lunches should be for breaks!
Stacy @ Every Little Thing recently posted..EVOL Is Over- So Catch Up With ELT!

4 melissa February 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

double tree cookies are amazing, I have been meaning to make them at home. Sorry lunch wasn’t up to par!
melissa recently posted..Dinner at ‘inoteca

5 Brittney February 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I’d have to agree that the Healthy Living Summit lunch was pretty unreal! I remember my plate overflowing as I tried to fit a little of everything on it!
Brittney recently posted..Girls Weekend in Hilton Head Part II

6 Freya February 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Healhty Living Summit spread without a doubt, was the best!! I normally hate lunches packed for lots of people, like at conferences – I have bad memories from school, of being stuck with either cheddar cheese (veg option – and i hate cheese!) or ham. Blergh.
Freya recently posted..Don’t forget…

7 megan @ blackberries for jam February 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

This is the first time your lunch has looked really unappealing to me. Conference lunches are usually pretty bad!
megan @ blackberries for jam recently posted..Daily Rituals- Peppermint Tea

8 Kara February 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I interned for a summer on Capital Hill and some of those events had the BEST boxed lunches. It was hit or miss, but I used to go to some events just because I knew they had good food. 🙂
Kara recently posted..The ABCs of me

9 Dorry February 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Yes! The HLS lunch spread was phenomenal. I could eat that just about everyday. 🙂
Dorry recently posted..Indecision Vision

10 Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I haven’t been to too many conferences — but our company lunches are amazing — usually catered by a local company. Lots of fresh veg and fruit and we had this amazing pulled pork last time — yum!
Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete recently posted..February Goals Update

11 Hope February 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I love Doubletree Cookies! They are magical! I need to find the recipe to replicate them. They are just too good! My work typically has pretty good tasting boxed lunches when we have them, which is really rare. If we have a long meeting, they will usually provide food from a local caterer or cafe. 🙂
Hope recently posted..Missed Memo &amp New Coffee Machine…

12 Natalie @ Will Jog For Food February 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Cookies make everything better 🙂

I think one of my favorite conference lunches was at MPI in Houston… they had a make your own taco bar one of the days. It was actually really good!
Natalie @ Will Jog For Food recently posted..Chocolate Bacon and Axe Throwing

13 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun February 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I’m ready to enjoy THIS year’s lunch spread for HLS. 😉

And swiss always wins for me too.
Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun recently posted..Self-Love Reflection- Idolizing Our Bodies

14 Jessica @ The Virtual Scrapbook February 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I love that you found something that you could eat. I wish they’d make vegan meals, I can never seem to find that one as an option.

15 Katy (The Singing Runner) February 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

That spread at HLS looks AMAZING! Speaking of HLS…. 😉 Any news?
Katy (The Singing Runner) recently posted..Back to Reality and Looking to the Future

16 Mindy @ just a one girl revolution. February 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I ditto on HLS – all the food that weekend was phenomenal! Healthy living bloggers do it right (thanks Kath!)!
Mindy @ just a one girl revolution. recently posted..addicted to running

17 Kaitlin February 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Those cookies look amazing! I need to get to a DoubleTree, stat!
Kaitlin recently posted..Wild Weather Weekend

18 Shanna, like Banana February 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Oh I loooathe boxed lunches. The meat is always disgusting; the bread soggy; and the cheese slimy. Yick!

I prefer when my work orders from outside caterers like this place called Specialty’s. There food is fab!

19 Alaina February 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Yeah, the boxed lunch is always such a gamble. I have been to several army events with my husband where the food is catered. And it’s always been very good! Especially the desserts. 😉
Alaina recently posted..Vegas Eats

20 Stacey February 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Hmm, yeah the boxed lunch doesn’t look great taste wise but it’s pretty decent nutrionally for a catered event – at least it contained fruit!

21 Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm

The cookie looks SO GOOD!!
Jessica @ The Process of Healing recently posted..Sick Day

22 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Blech I hate boxed lunches too – I always just bring my own!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..five year time warp

23 Ash February 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Yuck, I hate boxed lunches! I would go to tradeshows and what they offered was positively awful. Nothing healthy and extremely overpriced!
Ash recently posted..The Year So Far

24 Kath Younger February 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm


25 Doc (The Healthy PhD) February 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I’m surprised there wasn’t a veg option…

Best: Lite Bites at conferences during cocktail hour – usually fruit, veggies, and amazing cheeses, etc.

Worst: The BBQ Joint that caters my school so often – the only vegetable/fruit you get is coleslaw UNLESS you get the veg option, which is literally raw onions and peppers on a hoagie. Ugh.
Doc (The Healthy PhD) recently posted..Staying Positive

26 Kristy @ KristyRuns February 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Yeah! Where’s the veggie option? I would have been one hungry gal at that luncheon! 🙂

27 Matt @ The Athlete's Plate February 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

You are loving those cookies! I want one 😉

28 Ashley February 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

That kind of bothers me, where are the veg friendly options?
Here “the masses” want bbq and grease. Ew. Your choices are fried chicken, cobbler, coleslaw, or canned green beans soaked in butter and fat.
Ashley recently posted..Cause They Love Me

29 Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles February 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Wish I could say I’ve had great food, but alas, only boxed lunches at conferences!

30 Kacy February 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm

The food at Fitbloggin was pretty rad, and I went to a conference for work once that catered in a great Italian restaurant. That was a nice surprise.
Kacy recently posted..A letter to my lost self

31 Emily @ Savory and Savage February 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Volunteering at conferences looks like fun.

I know people do it at writer’s conferences hoping that they will get the job of picking up authors at the airport and get a chance to talk to them 1 on 1.
Emily @ Savory and Savage recently posted..Its all about the dough

32 Clare @ Fitting It All In February 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I love when my company gets Panera for meetings! So many choices with veggie sandwiches, salads, and soups.
Clare @ Fitting It All In recently posted..Vitamins – Do ‘em or Ditch ‘em

33 Runeatrepeat February 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I still think about that amazing tofu sandwich I had at the Summit. I even recreated it one time. So.good.
Runeatrepeat recently posted..BodyBugg Initial Thoughts

34 Lisa (bakebikeblog) February 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm

oooh I must say – roast beef + mustard = a winning combination!
Lisa (bakebikeblog) recently posted..Pass the pizza- Lamb and feta style

35 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) February 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I’ve never been to a conference, so I’ve never had a boxed lunch like that. They should have a buffet 🙂
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) recently posted..It Wasn’t a PR…

36 Amanda (Eating Up) February 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I agree it’s hard. The social media conference I went to last year had pizza and pasta for lunch. I don’t love Italian food–especially at lunch. That was unfortunate! Haha.
Amanda (Eating Up) recently posted..Baked Brownies

37 Kristen February 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm

We just had a conference for the school I work at, and the lunch spread was amazing! Pesto pasta, breadsticks, cold orzo salad, Caesar + Italian salads, roasted veggies, and baked chicken. And to top it off, desserts of cannolis, Tiramisu, and cookies. Plus, the gave us a ton of afternoon snacks (candy, chips, etc.) and breakfast in the morning.

I’m wondering how Katy did with no veg options?
Kristen recently posted..afternoon runner

38 LauraJayne February 22, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I always dread lunches where I have no control over what is served – I hate to be picky, but I just want a good healthy meal! It looks like you scored on your second try!
LauraJayne recently posted..A Guru’s Perfect Day

39 Semisweet Courtney February 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Oh my, Doubletree cookies are the best! 🙂
Semisweet Courtney recently posted..Florida!

40 sarah (sarah learns) February 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm

i am not usually a fan of conference meals either. honestly, i’ve started just packing a bag of healthy snacks (cut up veggies and fruit + granola bars, etc.) and supplementing the “good” parts of those meals with my snacks. it works for me!
sarah (sarah learns) recently posted..taking responsibility

41 Kristin @ FoodFash February 22, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I’m pumped for HLS 2011 lunch!!!
Kristin @ FoodFash recently posted..I

42 Kayley Ray February 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Well, I can’t exactly say that it was the BEST conference food, but I recently attended a Christian conference in Atlanta with over 21,000 college students….all fed in less than 15 minutes. Talk about organization and AMAZING volunteers!

43 Mac February 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm

We had vegetarian lasagna at one of our conference dinners! I think I like veggie lasagna better than meaty lasagna!
Mac recently posted..VO2 Max

44 Lauren February 22, 2011 at 11:57 pm

I really wouldn’t mind box lunches except that pickings are slim for vegetarians usually!
Lauren recently posted..A Week of Photos

45 mia February 23, 2011 at 7:59 am

All sorts of appetizers, followed by smoked salmon on salad, filet mignon, and cheesecake and chocolate covered berries. Then there was a fancy afternoon tea. I went to another one that had amazing sea bass.

(This was during the pre-crash years in finance. I’m sure things are more austere now.)

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: