These strategies can help you enjoy the holiday party without abandoning your health goals.
As we head into the holiday weekend, we have three different Christmas parties to attend to! While this means, lots of indulgent treats, and eating MUCH more than our stomachs have room for, it can also give you an opportunity to provide something that not only is a healthy option for party goers, but also DELICIOUS!!
Grapes and apples are perfect for this wreath. Both come in green and red/purple. We also decided to use a pepper for the “bow”, but that definitely isn’t necessary. The pumpkin dip is what makes this so decadent! It’s very creamy and sweet. It has honey, cream cheese, and some whipping cream. With such rich ingredients, a little goes a long way. And you can be sure all your fruit will get eaten.
1) BRING YOUR OWN HEALTHY APPETIZER
Anytime we head to a holiday party, my plan is to always bring a healthy dish. Sometimes people who want to stick to a healthy plan, shy away from being the one that brings something healthy to the party. But, if that something can be healthy AND decadent, it’s a win-win! THIS fruit wreath is that dish! I also know that my kids will eat fruit, so it helps them to have something with nutrients as well.
2) AVOID MINDLESS SNACKING
Make food count! Whether you are headed to a holiday party, or a sit down dinner, mindless snacking on low quality food is just a waste. Save the appetite for high quality, delicious food, that can be enjoyed socially, and not alone. Help your kids with this by not bringing crackers for the car ride to the party, and reminding them that you are going to have some great food later, which will taste even better the more hungry they are.
3) DRINK UP AT YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY!
Sometimes, simply sipping on water can help you avoid mindlessly eating while chatting. Always keep your hands busy with a glass of water while you chat with friends. For kids, encouraging water is best for so many reason. First of all, the inevitable spill is a lot less traumatic! Secondly, it’s likely the other beverages are full of sugar, and they just don’t need it.
4) BE ACTIVE BEFORE THE PARTY
Don’t use the holidays or the cold weather as an excuse. Even if you are traveling you can find new ways to engage in activities alone or with family and friends. This time of year is the perfect time to try out something new like ice skating, or head to your local indoor pool or basketball court for some fun. Being active before the party can be a great way to build up an appetite for delicious food.
5) PLAN AHEAD
Like any goal, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I can usually guess what type of food will be on the menu at most of the parties we attend. Use it as an opportunity to decide ahead of time what food you want to indulge in and what food you will leave alone! Save room for only the best food! Also, get an idea of what your kids are going to eat. If you fear they will walk in for a plateful of chips and nothing else, talk to them before the party about how excited you are to see them try the fruit tray you are bringing!
- 8 ounce cream cheese
- 3/4 cup pumpkin, canned
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup Whipped Cream
- 2 medium apple, Granny Smith
- 2 cup grapes, green
- 1 cup grapes, red
- 1/2 medium bell pepper, red
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, vanilla, and honey. Start at low speed until the ingredients are incorporated and then mix on high 2 minutes. Start with ½ teaspoon cinnamon and then add up to ½ teaspoon more to taste.
- Gently fold in the whipped cream (or whipped topping) for an even fluffier fruit dip. This step can be omitted if you wish.
- With a mandolin, slice the apples to ⅜” thick. Cut the apples in half and then use a small circle cookie cutter to cut out the center seeds and core. Store the apple slices in water with lemon juice until ready to serve to discourage browning.
- Fill a small round serving dish with the pumpkin dish and place in the center of the platter.
- On a large round platter, place a few rows of apples around the whole outside of the platter.
- Fill in the center of the wreath with green grapes.
- Place red grapes, in bunches of 3, around the wreath to look like berries.
- To complete the wreath, tie a bow with a strip of red bell pepper and place at the bottom of the wreath.
- Serve any additional fruit in a tray to the side.
We hope you enjoy the holiday!! Have a delicious and safe weekend!