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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