By Cindy Bossio
Tis the season for holiday parties and get togethers.
Many of us look forward to the festive times spent with friends, family, and yes … the food.
This year as your calendar fills up with holiday events, make plans to start some healthier traditions, consider the following suggestions for your next party or family dinner.
Seasonal appetizer tray: on a festive tray create an arrangement of mini whole wheat English muffin pizzas, devilled eggs (top with a slice of red or green pepper), mini pita pocket sandwiches, whole wheat quesadilla triangles and tortilla rollups.
Holiday vegetable platter: put together a colourful platter featuring red, green and white vegetables, such as cut radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes. Serve with your favourite veggie dip or try hummus or guacamole.
Festive fruit plate: prepare a plate of your families’ favourite fruit, such as cut up apples, oranges, pears and melon. Drizzle with melted, dark chocolate or serve with flavoured yogurt as a dip. Enjoy!
Party condiment bowl: replace salty condiments, such as pickles, catsup, mustard with cucumbers spears, slices of green and red peppers, wedges of red onions and fresh tomato or fruit salsas.
Tidbit treat tier: if grandma’s holiday squares are a must have family tradition, cut into bite size pieces rather than large ones and arrange on a decorative tier tray. Healthy snacks can keep you energized during busy days. Keep your fridge and cupboard stocked with easy to grab foods like fruit, plain yogurt, oven roasted meats, cut up vegetable sticks, hummus, whole-grain crackers and bean dip.
Even though your schedule may change over the holidays, breakfast is just as important as during the rest of the year. Include foods from at least three food groups for a good start to the day. If you are in a rush, grab a piece of fruit, yogurt and a small muffin. If you have a little more time enjoy a poached egg, toast and some orange wedges.
For more ideas to make your holidays healthier check out the wide range of healthy eating resources from recipes and videos to blogs at http://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca.
Cindy Bossio is a community nutritionist with Interior Health.