Healthy Party Appetizers

Party Appetizers

Appetizers are delicious, but they can be a pitfall for diets. Trays of cheese, cookies, and candies can make you feel full before a meal and also give you a whole day's worth of calories. If you're throwing a party or dinner for family and friends, you can always add some healthy party appetizers in there. These appetizer ideas are sure to provide lots of taste, nutrients, and minerals without the added sugars and fats from many holiday snacks.

Fruit Kebabs

These are cute, fun, and don't fill you up before a meal. You can use a variety of colorful fruits for these: melons, grapes, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, or blueberries are all fair game. Skewer the fruits with kebab sticks and arrange them on a platter. These are also great for kids, who love eating food that's been arranged in a fun way.

Hummus and Pita Bread

This low-calorie Middle Eastern snack provides guests with a serving of vegetables (hummus is made from ground chickpeas) and heart-healthy whole-wheat pita bread. To style it nicely, you can cut the pita bread into little triangles for easy dipping. It's considerably healthier than a traditional chips and salsa appetizer, which contains high-sodium corn chips. You can buy the hummus at a store or make it yourself.

Vegetables and Dip

Vegetables such as carrots, celery, and broccoli are pretty plain on their own, but veggie trays often have calorie-heavy ranch or blue cheese dips in the middle. Instead of opting for a dip with lots of unhealthy fats, you can choose one that's much healthier. Many people opt for a hummus dip, which is a great idea. You can also make your own healthy dip out of ingredients such as avocado, onions, and Greek yogurt. A low-calorie, vegetable-based dip tastes delicious and won't totally wreck your diet for the week.

Sweet Potato Cubes

Labeled a "superfood," sweet potato is both tasty and nutritious. Chop up a sweet potato and cut it into cubes, then drizzle with a mixture of cinnamon, honey, and olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes in the oven and toss with sea salt and a little extra olive oil. You can cut the sweet potato into even smaller cubes and stick a toothpick in it, then place it on a serving tray. It tastes like candy, but doesn't come with the artifical sugars.

Ants on a Log

This is more for the younger set, who are often hesitant to try new foods- especially ones with vegetables in them. Cut stalks of celery and smear peanut butter in them, then arrange raisins to look like little "ants." While it's traditionally a kids' recipe, you can serve this to adults as a tasty reminder of childhood.

Dried Fruit and Nuts

Little serving cups of dried cranberries, raisins, and nuts are another delectable option. Nuts provide an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. Make sure you get the unsalted variety, as the salt can add unwanted sodium to the appetizer.

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Football Party Appetizers

Football Party Appetizers

It's game day and you're prepared. Your whole family is wearing their good-luck jerseys (even the dog) and you've cleaned the living room. Your friends are coming over to watch the game in an hour. For game day, you don't just have to serve soda and chips; you can make tasty, even healthy finger foods that your guests can nosh on as they watch their favorite teams.

 

Traditional Football Party Appetizers

Traditionally, food at football parties is bar food: chicken wings, onion rings, and potato chips. You can always go for these options with a spicy chicken wing recipe or some homemade french fries. If you don't have a deep fryer, some of these items will come in a bag that you can put in the oven.

It's also fun to provide teeny tiny snacks like M&Ms, nuts, and raisins. A classic football party appetizer is Chex Mix, which can include the above items. Chex Mix is a pretty neat option because it can be customized multiple ways. You can make it smoky and spicy, with mustard and pretzels. Or you can just add sweet raisins, dried cranberries, and nuts for more of a trail-mix feel.

 

Chips and Dip Appetizers

A lot of football party appetizers utilize the chips and dip form, which can be a great way to get some delicious healthy food in your body. You can make your own salsa or guacamole from scratch, which is definitely preferably to eating it from a can. If you want to go all out, you can make a seven-layer dip with cheese, sour cream, and refried beans. This gives the dish a significant boost of flavor as opposed to just a plain dressing dip.

Spinach and artichoke dip is another popular option for football parties. But unlike nachos or seven-layer dip, you'll want to serve this one with warm sliced baguettes or bagel chips. Spinach and artichoke dip takes about 10 minutes to mix and 20 to bake, so be sure to set aside some time to make it. The exotic blend of spinach, artichoke hearts, and cheese will be sure to delight your guests.

 

Healthy Football Party Appetizers

Football food doesn't have to come loaded with calories. While it's historically loaded with grease and fat, you can always opt to serve some more natural options. Cut apples and oranges into slices and arrange them on a tray, or design a sophisticated cheese and olive platter. Football day doesn't have to ruin the diet you've been on for weeks. You can still choose appetizers that are delicious and yet healthy.

For healthy appetizer ideas, look around your kitchen and assess the ingredients first. If you have whole-wheat bread, you can always spread some organic cheese and meat on it, and cut it into tiny squares for appetizer sandwiches. You can make little lettuce wraps using lettuce as a base for a mixture of cooked chicken, nuts, and raisins. Consider using low-fat fish or lean meats as ingredients for your appetizers. You can still get creative using healthy foods.

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