Let’s admit it: holiday gatherings are all about the food. We love being with our friends and family, so we roll out those mouth-watering, but not-always-good-for-you dishes. We won’t suggest that you completely eliminate those rich, traditional holiday foods. Instead, add a few of our favorite better-for-you party favorites.
Bruschetta – this simple Italian appetizer features bite-sized pieces of garlic and olive-oil rubbed toast topped with tomato, basil and mozzarella.
Smoked salmon on toast – If you include cream cheese, cut the calories and fat by using Neufchatel cheese.
Shrimp cocktail – Although the traditional sauce is ketchup-based which includes sugar, you can cut the sugar by using sugar-free ketchup, or make your own ketchup with tomato paste, vinegar and spices.
Veggies and dip – A veggie tray with a couple of dip choices is always a good addition to the hors d’oeuvres table.
Chicken kabobs – Including some freshly grilled chicken and vegetables still on the skewer provides a healthy alternative to higher fat party foods.
Fruit and cheese – For some holiday variety, add some exotic fruit chunks to the usual berries, pineapple and grapes. Add dragon fruit, papayas, mangos, and star fruit to an assortment of cheese cubes.
Mixed Nuts – Nuts are a good-for-you protein and fat as long as we don’t overdo it. Be sure your mix includes more than just peanuts. Almonds, cashews, and even pecans and walnuts make a delicious addition to the party spread.
If your party includes a cookie exchange, look for festive recipes that won’t destroy your healthy eating plan like these Cranberry Orange Nut Cookies (eatingwell.com).