Serving Snacks During Training Sessions


serving snacks head

The Staff Trainer’s Blog


Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?

National Nutrition Month was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to focus on the importance of making healthy informed food choices. This is so tough for me especially when I am constantly on the run. Between conducting trainings and attending meetings, every once in a while, I feel the need to grab something quick to snack on and according to my scale the vending machine is not my friend!

Most trainings, seminars and conferences that I have attended seem to have a direct connection to food. Water is typically served at larger venues, while smaller workshops that I have attended tend to include continental breakfast or lunch. I have learned over the years that there is no greater motivator while conducting trainings than food and as a learning and development professional, it is often a balancing act in merging the two together.

Most States offer standards in providing healthful choices when serving food at meetings or events. Here in the State of New York, guidelines allow for serving snacks including mixed nuts, air-popped popcorn with light seasoning, water and an assortment of fresh fruits such as apples and pears.

So if you are on a budget like me, what are the best snacks to offer that are both filling and nutritious?

Trailmix- Most Trailmix snacks tend to offer a combination of dried fruits, nuts and chocolate. Trailmix is a snack that can be bought in bulk and is easy to store. It also provides a quick energy boost and is great to serve during the midday and late afternoon when most participants start to get tired.

trail mix

trailmix chips

Almonds-Almonds can also be purchased in bulk and there are many health benefits of eating almonds including relief from constipation, respiratory disorders, anemia and protects the artery walls from damage.


Pretzels- This is a snack that comes with iron, zinc and folate and is low in fat. The downside is that the sodium is high, so it should only be offered in moderation


Water- saving the best for last, water has so many great benefits including controlling count calories, helps in digestion and constipation, flushes out toxins and relieves fatigue. If possible, water should be offered throughout the day.

Do you offer any snacks that are not on the list? Would love to hear from you.




Training Ideas During Autism Awareness Month

DSCF0700[1]  National Autism Awareness Month, recognized every April in the United States, brings awareness about autism through educating the public on issues that impact the autism community. National Autism Awareness Month is also an opportunity to conduct staff development training activities that will foster understanding and sensitivity towards people with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders. With four days left this month, it is not too late to create training activities for your staff. Below, I listed six suggestions on supporting autism awareness month.

  1. Guest Speaker. Invite a guest speaker such as a parent, professional or a  person with autism to come to your organization and speak to staff on issues regarding autism. There are a number of organizations you can contact which can refer you to local organizations and people.

Autism Speaks- A community page that links chapters from each state.

Autism Society- Contact Information

National Autism Association- Contact Information

Autism Key- A listing of Autism foundations and organizations.

2. Lunch and Learn. Have a lunch and learn with the administrative staff. Invite a professional educator, parent or physician to speak for an hour on topics including, Understanding Autism, and ways to support your staff working with people with autism.

3.  Games. Develop training activities including an autism word search or create puzzles, tests, or matching words that often use key words found in autism literature. Below, are links to autism glossary terms.

Autism Speaks

Autism Delaware

Making Friends With Autism

Easter Seals

4. Films- Show films, movies and documentaries that highlight people with autism. Showing movies and films offers the opportunity to hold discussions, increase sensitivity and bring awareness. Below are listing of suggested films and movies.

Dreaming in Autistic Colors

Season of Miracles

Autism Everyday

Autism is a World

Autism: The Musical

The Horse Boy

Normal People Scare

Refrigerator Mothers

Rain Man

Cries from the Heart

The Story of Luke

Temple Grandin

Mercury Rising

5.Sensitivity Training. Conduct trainings that show  many of the challenges faced by people with autism. including sensory, and fine motors skills.

6. Contest. Have a contest using beads represented the colors of the autism symbolic ribbon. Have employees guess the number of beads. Award a prize to the person who guesses correctly.DSCF0694[1]

Above all, have fun during Autism Awareness Month. This is a great opportunity to bring awareness and have fun at the same time

What is you organization doing to bring awareness to autism?