Smart Appetizer Choices for Holiday Parties

It’s hard not to be inundated by amazing holiday food choices as you attend office parties, cocktail parties, and festive dinners. Delicious, fattening foods seem to be even more tempting when served with a festive holiday flare. Appetizers can be among the most deadly to your diet, with many packing in almost as many calories as an entré©e or dessert. Looking for some smart appetizer choices to keep you slim through the holidays? Try some of the appetizers below.

Shrimp Cocktail:
Shrimp cocktail is amazingly low in calories, and even when dipped in cocktail sauce the calorie count does not go up by much. Try this appetizer choice for a mere 20 calories per shrimp (even dipped in sauce), and leave yourself plenty of calories to splurge on other holiday party fare.  Be aware that occasionally a cocktail sauce may have mayonnaise in it as well as the expected ingredients, which will bump up the calorie count of this smart appetizer considerably.

Cheese and Crackers:
Believe it or not, this appetizer can also be a smart choice. You can enjoy five crackers and an ounce of cheese (about the size of a piece of string cheese) for under two hundred calories, or less, depending on the type of cracker you choose.  For a cracker the size of a Triscuit or Ritz, figure in about 20 calories each, dropping the calorie count as the cracker drops in size. As a rule, the softer the cheese, the higher the calories, so look for a cheddar or Swiss rather than heading for the Brie.

You can never go wrong with fruit, as long it is not dipped in chocolate or served with a syrupy, calorie laden topping. A fairly large serving of fruit can still only weigh in at about 100 calories (think about two cups), and will certainly fill you up and keep you from wandering over to the fried mozzarella platter. But even a chocolate covered strawberry is only about 50 calories, and certainly a better choice for an appetizer than other fried, greasy treats.  

Vegetables and Dip:
If you’re smart about the type and amount of dip you choose, this can be another smart appetizer choice at your next holiday party.  Choose a low fat salad dressing as your dip (or a low fat dip if it is offered). Take only a tablespoon on your plate, which will help limit the calories even if it is a full fat dip, and turn this into a smart appetizer choice, too.

Mushroom Caps:
These little beauties can also be a low calorie appetizer choice at your next holiday party. As long as they are not stuffed with something too calorie laden, this can be a smart appetizer choice. Avoid seafood stuffed mushroom caps, which tend to be made with mayonnaise and cheese, and try those made with a cream cheese base, or even a vegetable stuffing. And enjoy!

Tags: diet appetizers, holiday appetizers, low calorie appetizers, low calorie holiday appetizers, smart appetizers

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