Healthy Christmas Appetizers

You can eat well at Christmas without packing on the pounds with the help of these tempting and tasty appetizers.

At Christmas many people tend to focus on a big sit down dinner, and end up gorging themselves for no reason. To help curb the temptation to binge and cut down on your guests gorging a glut of calories, why not try a few healthful and attractive appetizers this year.

Jello and Fruit Ring

A molded jello ring is always an attractive centerpiece, and is even more healthful with fruit inside. The fruit and sweetness will help fill you up and you can also include fresh finger fruits like berries in the center as a clever and tasty serving idea. Make sure you read the instructions on the package about what fruits to leave out to make sure the ring sets properly. If you have a holiday baking pan with a pattern such as holly or berries, be sure to oil the pan lightly to help unmold the jello more easily.

Trail Mix Treats

Everyone loves bowls of Chex mix at the holidays. This year, add a few nuts to make it into more of a trail mix. Some dried fruit and coconut will also make for a more festive mix, especially dried cranberries, for a healthful snack that will curb the appetite.

Pita Points and Dip

Cut up large or small pitas into wedges and toast in the oven til hard. They can they be arranged on a platter with a bowl of dip in the center. Hummus, babaganoush and other festive and colorful dips can help form a centerpiece.

Christmas Cheese Platter

Colorful cheese balls in red, green and white can add to the holiday display and help curb hunger. For softer cheeses, try rolling them into a log with some dried cranberries and walnuts or herbs for an even more festive display that will help fill people up before they get to the table. Serve with the homemade pita chips or low sodium crackers.

Pasta Salad

A cold or warm pasta salad can go a long way toward filling people up and leaving them satisfied so they won’t gorge themselves at the dinner table. Try a simple paste primavera with penne with some carrots and peas thrown in and a dash of parmesan and pepper for a colorful and tasty treat you can also garnish with greenery and use as part of your holiday centerpiece.

Crudite and Dips

Celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli florets and quartered artichoke hearts are all ideal for dipping. Add a few small tomatoes and arrange like with the broccoli like holly and berries and serve with a variety of low fat dips, dressings and cheese fondue on the side.

Any and all of these suggestions will please even the most picky guests and beautify your holiday table. Best of all, they can fill everyone up with healthy foods so they won’t gorge on all the fattening side dishes and desserts.

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