How to Throw a Healthy Holiday Party
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
LifeTime WeightLoss in Healthy Cooking, Healthy Cooking, Jennifer Wannen, Parties, appetizers, hHoliday Eating

How many times have you attended a party and been relegated to munching on raw carrots for the evening?

Parties, as much as we love them, can be some of our biggest eating challenges. With the chip and cracker staples and the overflowing dessert table, it’s little wonder the best advice is often to eat before you go.

When the party is yours to host or when you have the chance to share a dish (or two), however, suddenly the spread can become a lot more health-friendly.

What would a better buffet look like to you? How could you remake a party menu in the Healthy Way of Eating spirit?

Whether you’re planning a full holiday event or just adding to a friendly potluck, consider these tips for putting filling and healthy fare on the party table. (And in case you’re wondering...why not use the ideas to create a fun family “snack” dinner or an indulgent stay-in evening for yourself?) Choose your favorites!

Put Some Meat on the Menu.

One of the reasons people constantly go back to the party spread: there’s usually little to no real “filling” food. Empty carbs might taste good in the moment, but you’ll be grazing on them all evening if there’s nothing more substantial to be had.

The same principle holds true for party planning as does for our daily diet: think protein. There’s a little more preparation (and expense) involved, but it’s how a party buffet really can replace dinner. Consider these ideas for adding substance to your spread.

Dress up the Vegetables.

Sure, there’s the proverbial veggie tray. By all means go with it, but expand on the idea for something more enticing and filling!

Make vegetables a healthy base for countless appetizer combinations, and enhance their appeal with healthy dips. Alternatively, pair them with yummy proteins. Think of your veggies as vehicles for other flavors.

Don’t Write off Assorted Crunchies.

Let’s face it. At most parties, it’s the bulk of the spread.

Unfortunately, these are exactly the kinds of snacks that we should be avoiding - high carb, highly processed, low nutrient food products. Simply choose better, homemade options that offer all the satisfaction without all the additives, preservatives and unhealthy oils.

Do Dessert Differently.

Dessert doesn’t have to be the sugar haul we’re used to.

If it’s your party, you can serve whatever you feel comfortable eating. If you’re just contributing to the party spread, know that others might appreciate enjoying an after-meal treat that doesn’t send them into sugar shock

Would you like more tips for staying on plan during your holiday parties? Talk with one of our registered dietitians today. Thanks for reading.

Written by Jennifer Wannen, Content Manager

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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