In keeping with a growing trend towards healthy meetings, SilverNeedle Hospitality recently launched a new health-focused MICE program, ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Thinking’, to meet the growing demand for healthy options.

The program comes after research conducted by the hospitality group  revealed conference organisers are demanding healthier catering and team-building activities.

“Our Healthy Minds, Healthy Thinking program originated from a real need in the MICE arena,” SilverNeedle CEO and managing director, Iqbal Jumabhoy, said.

“With our innovative take on healthy menus and activities, our program will ensure delegates reap the full benefits of attending the events at our hotels.”

From the 85 industry event organisers surveyed, 93 per cent  said having healthier options on menus was an important consideration when it came to booking a venue and 90 per cent get restless and lose focus during meetings.

The super-charged program focuses on three key areas – healthy eating, healthy thinking and healthy exercises –  and will be initially rolled out across the group’s Australian branded properties of Chifley, Grand Chifley, Country Comfort, Australis and selected Sundowner hotels, followed closely by the three SilverNeedle Collection hotels in Thailand and Laos.

With nutrition strongly linked to concentration, super food infused menus with a focus on a brain-healthy diet have been formulated. These menus feature ingredients like avocados, blueberries and kale and utilise  healthier cooking techniques such as barbequing, grilling and poaching with less trans-fats, less salt and more cold-pressed oils.

Menu items such as Vietnamese rice paper rolls and fresh fruit platters, health bars and smoothies will help to tempt wayward appetites towards healthier eating options. A fruit and vegetable juice bar will also be available on request.

The program encourages creative power breaks, simple exercises and mind games to help keep energy and concentration levels high. The growing trend towards active sport/games during conferences was endorsed by more than 45 per cent of respondents who confirmed they have incorporated these into recent events; the most popular being team-building activities.