Host a Healthy Holiday Open House
The holiday season has become so hectic and overscheduled that finding a night to throw a dinner party or cocktail soiree has become nearly impossible. One solution is hosting a laid-back holiday open house, which allows guests to come and go as they please after crossing some holiday shopping off their lists.
These shindigs run for about four hours during a weekend afternoon, and the flexibility can help minimize holiday stress for the host and guests alike. Plus, typical open-house fare is cocktails and light bites, which means you won’t bust a pant button on your way out. Use these tips and recipes to help you host a tasty and healthy open house this holiday season. Cheers!
Keeping Things Light
Delicious and healthy can go hand in hand if you follow these tips.
Minimize fried goodies
There are many finger foods and apps to choose that don’t need to be fried.
Try these bites:
Mini Spinach and Mushroom Quiche
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
Select recipes with seasonal fruits and veggies for gorgeous eye appeal. Fruits and veggies also tend to be light in calories.
Go for lean protein
Choose lean cuts of beef, pork, chicken, and turkey to help keep foods healthier, or opt for fish like salmon or tuna (to boost Omega-3s) and shellfish like shrimp and crab.
Offer small plates
Eating off smaller-sized plates means less food (or at least more trips to the buffet table to get the same amount of food). Instead of 9-inch dinner plates, offer smaller sized dishes.
Use a jigger
To keep calories from alcohol under control and prevent guests from getting overserved, use a jigger to measure alcohol instead of “eyeballing it” when making cocktails.
Try these cocktails:
Offer low- and no-calorie beverages
Serve unsweetened iced tea, hot tea and coffee, and sparkling water with a twist of fruit as low-cal options.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.