You know what should be fun? Going to parties. You know who freaks out about parties? Practically every nutrition client I've ever worked with. Even though the party should be about the people (unless it's a dinner party, and then, hey- it is basically about the food and that's my kind of party), it becomes a stressful event related to 'food rules'. If that sounds like you, know that there is always a way to find a way to eat healthy at a party. Even the typical chips, wings and pizza party. It's just about planning (get the full details in my e-book!).
But if you really want to have a great party, throw your own and offer some simple healthy swaps. Here are 5 easy ways to do it.
1. Start with a protein platter, not a bucket of chips. People go bananas on whatever snacky food is set out before the main meal. It doesn't matter what it is. Usually the options are pretzels, crackers or chips. Or a veggie platter that doesn't get touched. Pair crudite with a glorious protein platter to help people fill up on smart options: protein and fiber. If you're really short on time, have your grocery make a specialized one for you!
2. Serve a super green salad base. At the very beginning of the table or buffet, put a massive bowl of super greens: kale, spinach, shaved brussels sprouts or whatever you think will succeed! Not only do people take more of what they see first in line, but you can set up an 'example plate' to show that they can use the greens as a base for the entire meal to make it one big salad. That's seriously what I do at many buffet type meals. Greens all over, then stuff on top. There is nothing better than mac and cheese over greens.
3. Always offer water and sparkling water. When I'm at parties I typically see people go for sparkling water as a non-alcoholic beverage over soda if it's offered. Sometimes people want carbonation so they skip the water. Or sometimes there literally is no water offered. Or sometimes they see something new and they're intrigued enough to make that choice over the soda. For self contained options ( and honestly a nice lookin' bottle to boot), IZZE just came out with sparkling waters in true-to-the-fruit flavors: Blackberry Pear, Mandarin Lime and Raspberry Watermelon. It's 10 calories for 12 ounces and only 1-2 grams of sugar (trust me- none of that sugar alcohol/doesn't count as sugar on the label but it's there). That's it!
4. Have fruit stations around the party. If people still need another bite to eat, having stations of fruit around the area makes it easy to zip over for another bite instead of heading back for seconds or thirds on maybe a not-so-healthy option. By having it in multiple places, traffic is down, making it accessible. Want to add major visual appeal (and temptation?), try exotic fruits like figs!
5. Offer a light dessert. During summer this is ridiculously easy. I like to have a bowl of berries or peaches out with a whipped topping on the side. Honestly, I LOVE Siggis 4% for this which adds way more protein and satisfaction. Take it out of the container and no one will even know it's not truly a dessert topping. You can also offer nuts or fresh herbs to go with the fruit.
What are your healthy hostess tricks?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.