Perhaps you’ve been working on eating healthier and want healthy choices for that yearly holiday party. This holiday season, bring some dazzle to your holiday parties with healthier snack platters, tasting plates and side dishes.

Here are some wellness tips and healthier-for-you recipes to wow the crowd:

• Use small snack-style plates. This will decrease how much people will try to fit on their plate and help reduce return trips back to the party foods.

• Create low(er)-calorie beverages by using flavored sparkling waters with fresh juices, whole fruit and fresh herbs.

• Create your menus with a “bite-size” theme.

• Make your crowd work for their food: Serve in-shell pistachios, one of the lowest-fat, lowest calorie snack nuts.

• Use small serving utensils.

• Limit the number of desserts served to only a few, and serve in small pieces.

• Display fresh-cut veggies as the centerpiece by using various sized bowls, cups and platters with varying heights and depths to make people think they taste as good as they look.

Finger food appetizers are also a hit at any gathering. Try this recipe for Apricot-Pistachio Cream Cheese Spread at your next get-together or simply for breakfast or brunch paired with a whole-grain bagel or baguettes.

Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location. The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at


Apricot-Pistachio Cream Cheese Spread

Serves 24 (1 tablespoon each).

All you need:

1 (8 oz) pkg reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

½ cup chopped dried apricots

½ cup chopped unsalted pistachios

1 tbsp honey

All you do:

Stir cream cheese, apricots, pistachios and honey in a bowl until well combined.

Make-ahead tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Serving tip: Serve with fresh bakery baguettes that have been sliced and slightly toasted in oven.

Nutrition facts per serving: 43 calories, 3g fat, 1g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 45mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 3g sugar, 1g protein.

Source: Adapted from EatingWell, Inc.