Hosting a Healthy Holiday Party

You may be convinced the ultimate holiday party spread includes a fatty cheese ball, sugary cookies and loads of alcohol, but healthy and tasty fare is possible. Here are top tips for planning and a bunch of recipes for your shindig.
Related To:

Throwing a party can be overwhelming, especially when planning the menu. You may be convinced the ultimate spread includes a fatty cheese ball, sugary cookies and loads of alcohol, but healthy and tasty fare is possible. Here are top tips for planning and a bunch of recipes for your shindig.

Our Top Tips

A few things to keep in mind when deciding on your holiday party menu:

  • Include all the food groups in your spread — fruits, veggies, dairy, protein and whole grains.
  • Balance out the higher-fat stuff (cookies or cheese) with some lower-fat items (veggie pieces and bean dips).
  • Finger foods help keep portions small.
  • Use smaller-sized plates and serving spoons (especially for dips) -- this will stretch your offering and keep overeating in check.
  • Add in one or two smaller-sized fried foods and balance them with foods prepped healthier ways, such as baked, grilled, or roasted dishes.
  • Offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Don’t skip dessert but keep portions small and offer some fresh fruit along with more decadent choices.
  • Take a few minutes to calculate how much food you really need — no need to have an overwhelming amount of leftovers (we know who’s going to be munching on those!).
What To Put On Your Spread

Now that you know the basics for keeping balance, how about some specific recipes to try? Here are 30-plus ideas to make sure you're covered...

    To-Die-For Dips
    Dip Them With...
    Favorite Finger Foods
    The Sweets
    Loaded Bevvies
    Unloaded Bevvies
    Read More:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Steamed Dumplings Made Healthier

Steamed dumplings are steamed, so they're healthy, right? Not always.

Healthy Recipe Essentials: Soups

We gave you tips on healthy stir fries, this time we’re tackling soups. Soups are inexpensive and versatile. There are so many variations to play with depending on the veggies, legumes, grains, herbs and meats you add. We’ll walk through the basics to get you started and give you fun and exciting ideas to play with in the kitchen.

Chicken Nuggets: Are They Healthy?

This kid-friendly and wildly popular food is often demanded by kids. Should you give into to your kiddos' requests for these bite-sized poultry pieces?

15 Healthiest Grilled Main Dishes

If you’ve been grilling the same recipes each season, it’s time to shake things up. We’re giving you plenty of deliciously healthy recipes to choose from—starting with main dishes-- all for less than 400 calories per serving.

Healthy Barbecue Chicken (Really!)

This barbecue sauce is an incredible blend of sweet and tangy ingredients, creating a mouth-watering topping that's excellent with grilled chicken.

Holiday Appetizers: Something for Everyone

Throwing a holiday party? Don’t stress about your guests’ special dietary needs. We’ve got you covered!

What To Order: The 5 Healthiest Restaurant Chicken Dinners

This new series focuses on finding the healthiest options when dining out. We’re starting out with one of the most popular items on the menu—chicken. Here are our top 5 picks.

A Healthy Chicken Dinner in a Hurry — Most Popular Pin of the Week

Believe it or not, it's indeed possible to find a recipe that's at once quick, easy, affordable, healthy and family-friendly.

Packing a Tasty Lunch for Kids

I know a lot of kids would be happy with eating chicken fingers or mac and cheese every day, but there are other healthy and yummy options out there. Check out our favorite recipes to try.


Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.