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Breakfast: The most important meal of your event

By Karen

Remember how much energy you had as a kid, or how much energy your kids have now?  Conversely, remember how tired you were until lunch in high school, or don't even get me started on college...  What changed?  For me, it was breakfast.  As a kid, my dad would get up early every day to make me a good breakfast so I would have plenty of energy for school and keep me full until lunch.  As I got older, I slept in a little later and if breakfast even happened, it was as I was running out the door.  Now that I'm pregnant with my first child, I'm reminded again how important breakfast is.  I no longer have the crutch of coffee to "wake me up" and an on-the-go breakfast leaves me hungry again in 2 hours.

So what do your children, high school and my pregnancy have to do with a successful event?  EVERYTHING.

Serving breakfast at your event is not only appreciated, but can make the difference between good and great!  We all know that a hearty, healthy breakfast full of whole grains, protein and fruit can kick-start your energy for the day.  So whether you're planning a youth retreat or a seniors getaway, with the help of a great breakfast, your participants will not only be more awake and alert, but also more engaged in your programming and thus perceive more value from the experience.

So what should you look for in a breakfast menu from your host facility?  I have personally been to far too many meetings with coffee, donuts and pastries.  While people do get excited about these items because of their novelty, what you end up with is a jittery sugar rush that lasts for a bit, but ultimately results in frequent trips to the potty and hunger pangs around mid-morning that redirect the focus from your programming to the countdown to lunch.  You need breakfast items that are going to both excite your attendees and prime them to most effectively engage in the programming you have tirelessly worked on for months. 

You need items like:

  • Eggs – Scrambled, hard boiled, omelets, over easy...however you like  'em!
  • Meat - Everyone loves bacon, but having a turkey bacon or sausage alternative is always a good idea as well.
  • Whole grain breads & Fruit – Berries are the most appealing and high in fiber
  • Vegetables – Add veggies to your omelet and you're on your way to 5 a day!
  • Yogurt – Mix in or layer berries, granola and nuts for a breakfast parfait option.
  • Oatmeal – Make it fun and nutritious with craisins, walnuts and a little brown sugar.

Watch out for foods heavy with refined sugars, like pastries and sugary cereals. These foods offer calories without many essential nutrients, leaving you hyper, then tired and hungry again.

Don't get me wrong, if you're holding your event at an all-inclusive retreat facility like one of the Christian Retreats Network properties, your breakfast buffet will likely have some of the more "fun" breakfast items on the menu like Belgian waffles and French toast.  As long as you're offering your guests a balanced variety, you're setting your event up for success by offering a blockbuster breakfast!

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626