How To Have Healthier Food At Your Ministry Event

Why is it that almost every event I attend at church has unhealthy food? I know this is true in youth ministry, but I find it’s true for almost every ministry in the church.

Why???

The answer is quite simple:

  • It’s cheap.
  • People always eat it.

I have a huge sweet tooth. When I buy food for a ministry event, I usually get the food I like the best. If it is a morning event, you can pretty much always guarantee that there will be donuts. In the afternoon or evening, it’s a given that I will buy some cookies.

The funny thing is that I really work hard to eat healthy and work out. Yet, when I am planning to feed people at my church event, I usually always get junk food.

By now, I’m sure you’re asking what this has to do with REAL Ministry.

Well, it’s simple. Being a leader means taking care of yourself and those you minister to. One way you take care of yourself is physically. Therefore, the food you feed yourself and others should be an important component of your ministry work.

The challenge with getting healthier food is that it requires more time, more money, and more work. However, I think you can do it.

In a desire to move away from always ordering pizza and having a bunch of sweets around, I’d like to offer some alternatives that could be as cheap and easy as pizza.

  1. Always provide fruit. Fruit is not that expensive and it’s healthy. Plus, for a guy like me who has a sweet tooth, it has natural sugar! Stick with fruits that you know most people will eat. Bananas, apples, cantaloupe, grapes, and strawberries. I love most fruit, but unless I want to take a bunch home, I better stick with the basics.
  2. Pasta/lasagna laced with veggies. My wife and I love lasagna. We usually never have vegetables with that meal. Until we had a toddler. Now, we make lasagna with spinach in our attempt to give healthier food to my daughter. Hey, it’s better than having no veggies. Greens make everything better for you.
  3. Serve a veggie crudité. This past week, I attended the 10-year anniversary of the youth ministry program at my local church. Sure, they served unhealthy food (which I loved), but they also served a vegetable crudité. It had to be refilled before the M&M’s! By the end of the night, there were no veggies left. (There were no M&M’s either.)
  4. Declare a fast. Want to save money and not make people eat unhealthy food, declare a fast and provide no food. Instead of fast food, have a fast from food! Some meetings and events don’t require food. If the event is an hour or less, I don’t believe there is a need for food. That might even be true for a two-hour event. Unless, the event is during a normal mealtime. Then, you’re of luck.
  5. Order pizza…with veggies on it. Okay, not that creative, but it is healthier. Just know that if you do that, I won’t eat the veggie pizza.

Question: What healthy food alternatives do you provide in your ministry?

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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