Hosting a Healthy Holiday Party by Toby Amidor in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Tips, December 14, 2009
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Throwing a party can be overwhelming, especially when planning the menu. You may be convinced the ultimate spread includes a fatty cheese ball, sugary cookies and loads of alcohol, but healthy and tasty fare is possible. Here are top tips for planning and a bunch of recipes for your shindig.
Our Top Tips
A few things to keep in mind when deciding on your holiday party menu:
- Include all the food groups in your spread — fruits, veggies, dairy, protein and whole grains.
- Balance out the higher-fat stuff (cookies or cheese) with some lower-fat items (veggie pieces and bean dips).
- Finger foods help keep portions small.
- Use smaller-sized plates and serving spoons (especially for dips) — this will stretch your offering and keep overeating in check.
- Add in one or two smaller-sized fried foods and balance them with foods prepped healthier ways, such as baked, grilled, or roasted dishes.
- Offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Don’t skip dessert but keep portions small and offer some fresh fruit along with more decadent choices.
- Take a few minutes to calculate how much food you really need — no need to have an overwhelming amount of leftovers (we know who’s going to be munching on those!).
What To Put On Your Spread
Now that you know the basics for keeping balance, how about some specific recipes to try? Here are 30-plus ideas to make sure you’re covered…
- To-Die-For Dips
- Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- White Bean Dip
- Doctored Up Hummus
- Green Goddess Dip
- Cucumber Yogurt Dip with Pita Chips
- Dip Them With…
- Grilled Pita Triangles
- Rainbow Veggie Skewers
- Whole grain crackers
- Raw veggies (crudité) or sliced fresh fruit
- Baked chips
- Favorite Finger Foods
- Broccoli and Cheddar Stuffed Potato Skins
- Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
- Steamed Crab Legs
- Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
- Grilled Polenta Crackers with Roasted Salsa
- Cuke-With-A-Kick Finger Sandwiches
- The Sweets
- Pear Ginger Crumble
- Cheesecake Brownies
- Winter Fruit Salad
- Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- Mocha Cake
- Our Holiday Cookie Collection
- Unloaded Bevvies
- Virgin Pomegranate and Cranberry Bellinis
- Mexican Hot Chocolate
- Mulled Apple Cider With Ginger and Orange
- Low-Fat Eggnog
- Passion Fruit Cooler
- Cranberry Spritzer