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Seasonal Diet Tips

Explore our expert knowledge on topics such as healthy eating during the holidays, and how to live into a happier and healthier you in the New Year. Discover tips and tricks on how to avoid weight gain at holiday parties and while on vacation.

How to Choose Healthy Appetizers, Snacks & More at Parties

Whether at game day or holiday parties, staying on track with your diet might seem impossible. Use these healthy party food ideas and tips created with health (and joy!) top of mind.

How to Choose Healthy Appetizers, Snacks & More at Parties


Healthy party food might sound like an oxymoron, but it is possible to achieve. With a little seasonal or holiday magic, items like healthy Christmas appetizers are possible. 

Try the following healthy appetizers, healthy party snacks, and snacks for guests to balance the best party food with what is good for the body, too. Read on for the top healthy party food tips! 

Best Healthy Party Food Tips

All healthy party foods have one thing in common: Each item is balanced and fuels the body. 

There are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a good snack for gatherings or guests. Consider the following when planning healthy food for a party. 

Let Everyone Eat Intuitively

Do not restrict a personal diet or the diets of house guests on the day of a holiday. It can be tempting to encourage everyone not to "spoil" their meal, but it is better to let invited guests eat intuitively. In other words, the holiday season is not an excuse to ignore hunger cues. 

Choose Quality Proteins

Lean proteins help keep the body feeling full, but not too full. Luckily, turkey is a lean meat so Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to focus on healthy, lean proteins. Other options include beans, peas, vegetables, and whole grains (which also are filling sources of fiber). 

Try a Little Bit of Everything Instead of Loading Up 

Especially at parties and holiday events, it can be tempting to pile plates high. However, the best experience may come from just plating palm-sized portions. This will allow for a well-rounded, and well-balanced, sampling experience. 

Sit Furthest from the Food

It is easy to chow down on party snacks when seated right next to them. Instead, pick a seat where conversation and company abound. This will encourage activity instead of attracting absent-minded eating. 

Practice Presence

Many tips can be summed up in one word, presence. Do not let drinks (especially alcohol) or food become the center of attention. Slow down, chew to enjoy each bite, and socialize to take full advantage of the event. 

Best Healthy Party Snacks & Appetizers

Appetizers should be appetizing, but they can also be healthy. Enjoy these delicious snacks without losing appetites before the main meal.

Nutrient-Packed Apple Nachos

These nachos are made of apples but are still smothered with tantalizing toppings. Healthy apple nachos can be made in about 5 minutes and will probably be gone in under that! Try spicing things up with different toppings, like pumpkin seeds, to celebrate the season. 

Sensational Sesame Sugar Snap Peas

Take finger food to the next level with a 10-minute healthy recipe. Sesame sugar snap peas are a delicious snack that is also packed with protein and nutrients. They perfectly balance the crisp and tender texture. 

Potato Salad 

A mayo-less, vegan potato salad is a healthier twist on a traditional favorite. Most guests expect to see potato salad on the table, so this is a great choice for family gatherings. The cashew cream that replaces the mayo adds some extra protein, too! 

Sweet Potato Appetizers

Sweet potatoes might just be the sexiest snack of the season. Plain potatoes are great, but sweet potatoes boast a stellar nutrient profile with extra vitamin A lending them that orange hue. Delicious sweet potato fries are easy to make and taste delicious. 

Healthy Party Food Ideas

Classic party favorites include casseroles, pasta, pizza, and more. Read all about these healthier favorites below. 

Tasty Pizza Toppings

Earn an award for most unique pizza toppings by presenting flavorful options to guests. Unique pizza combinations, even ones that utilize Thanksgiving leftovers with cranberry, brie, and turkey, can be surprisingly simple and delicious. Turn an old favorite into something new to keep the party going! 

Baked Pasta Marinara 

Baked recipes are great because there is no need to watch something on the stove! Make a pasta marinara that will wow. 

Easy Tomato Sauce 

Sometimes kitchen staples are also incredible crowd-pleasers! Whip up a simple spaghetti and tomato sauce in less than 30 minutes. Make with canned tomatoes for an even more convenient pick. 

Veggie Burgers 

Even carnivores will love this show-stopping recipe. Commercial options, both veggie and meat, can be full of fillers and lacking in the nutrient department. Instead, make a protein-packed veggie burger made with plenty of lean proteins and delicious, flavorful spices. 

Craveable Cheesy Quinoa Casserole

Casseroles are a classic and practical party food. Search no further than a healthy quinoa cheese recipe. The perfect union of flavor and nutrients, it is made with seasonal butternut squash, sensational smoked Gouda cheese, and balanced amounts of spices and seasonings. 

Ridiculously Good Risotto

Risotto can be sauce, fat, calorie, and carbohydrate-heavy. It is rarely packed with protein, but luckily there are two incredible recipes that are. Try making healthy parmesan shrimp risotto or chicken risotto for a festive and fancy favorite. 

A Final Word On Healthy Party Foods

There are many traditional party food recipes that can be made healthier. Simply swap heavier ingredients with protein-packed ones for a leaner, lighter experience. 

Fostering a healthy relationship with food means more time for festivities and fun!

Sara Dust's Photo
Written By Sara Dust. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on November 24, 2021.

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