10 Healthy Party Snack Ideas & Tips

A weekend is always a great opportunity to celebrate with your friends and family. Whether it’s a birthday, girls’ night in or just a house party, we all love to gather together to talk, drink and eat food. For many, it is also a time to over-indulge because we think we can have one “cheat day” a week. Since I want to stay relatively lean and healthy all year round, I have come up with tasty snack ideas that are perfect for any party you are hosting or attending. The main idea here is to snack smart and choose healthy foods.

Party cakes

Here are 10 healthy snack ideas for any party you want to join:

#1 Eat smaller portions

Contrary to popular belief that smaller portions make you want to eat more, preparing mini-sized pies, tarts, and other appetisers that are equal to one portion is enough to fill you up.

A piece of lemon cake

At least when you reach out for more, you’re still eating less. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like feeling uncomfortably full. Aside from the extra calories, there is more saturated fat in bigger portions! 

#2 Snack on seasonal fruits

We have heard this before but … this is very true. When you’re feeling hungry, take advantage of the delicious fruits in season. Apples, peaches, all types of berries and plums are all in abundance in December and January.

A plate of blueberries and raspberries

Cranberries, blueberries and pears are especially good during the holidays. You can also make a delicious smoothie, for instance, a strawberry one, if you don’t like raw fruits. It will fill you up for hours.

#3 Snack on nuts

Aside from seasonal fruits, another great low-calorie snack idea is a variety of nuts. Nuts contain heart-healthy good fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Just make sure that you don’t put too much salt on your nuts.

If you want to flavour nuts, add honey or chilli. Also, avoid fried and oily nuts. There are some nuts that have lesser fat content than others. The lowest calorie nuts are almonds, cashews, and pistachios.  

#4 Choose low-calorie traditional foods

Each country has traditional foods that are typically served only during the holidays. I used to live in Amsterdam, and they had a lot of delicious food here during the season. However, I chose to snack on low-calorie options such as chestnuts and almond paste bread (they call it kerststol). They also have stollen, which is bread with fruit and nuts. My own country of birth, Poland, has healthy traditional Christmas snacks as well. I love mushroom dumplings called uszka and of course, pierogi.

Polish pierogi

You just have to put a healthy filling on the pierogi such as sauerkraut and mushroom, instead of potato and cheese.

#5 Eat vegetable-based snacks

There are many great recipes for vegetable-based snacks that are delicious and easy to make. I found a yummy low-calorie and heart-healthy snack online, caramelised onion and shrimp bruschetta.

Here’s another idea: roasted cauliflower. Cauliflower is my new favourite vegetable. It has much-concentrated flavour when roasted rather than when steamed. Fresh sage is a herb that goes well with roasted vegetables. Instead of dipping chips on a dip, use a variety of vegetables such as carrots, celery, tomatoes, and broccoli.

#6 Avoid salt

Just as we want to avoid sugar, we also want to avoid too much salt in our diet. It is easy to indulge in salty food, especially if you are avoiding too much sugar. I always tell myself that I should avoid too much of both.

Salt

To add flavour to food, choose fresh herbs, chillies, black pepper or lemon wedges. These are all healthier and tastier options.

#7 Make healthier dips

Instead of using rich, creamy dips from various cheeses or mayonnaise that are high in saturated fat, try heart-healthy spinach, artichoke, or white bean dips made with nonfat yoghurt or low-fat cottage cheese.

#8 Use smaller plates and glasses

Using smaller plates and glasses tricks our minds to minimise the portions of snacks and drinks. I have read a study that verifies this. They have entitled the article “The Large Plate Mistake.”

#9 You can splurge once in a while, but do something healthy first

This is the party, after all, so we are all allowed to splurge once in a while. Before I allow myself to splurge, I do something healthy first. I just want to counter the “unhealthy” thing that I will do.

Party snacks

#10 Stay active

I usually take a walk, run a few laps, or climb up and down the stairs to burn off extra calories and stay active during, after or before the party! 

What’s your #1 tip to stay healthy when partying?

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68 thoughts on “10 Healthy Party Snack Ideas & Tips”

  1. Christina Nifong

    Such good reminders! I think the small plates idea is key. And, of course, finding as many ways to work veggies into our diet. I would add join a CSA or shop at a farmers market to the list. Shopping local and seasonal just means you’re eating the tastiest and healthiest there is!!

  2. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    Very good tips. I’ve found that yogurt is a good replacement for mayo and sour cream in many recipes without really changing the flavors much.

  3. Stephanie | Worth Whisking

    Love this post, Agness! It’s so easy to fall into unhealthy snacking habits, so these are some excellent tips.

  4. Terrific tips! We’re traveling and I love these snack ideas—I tend to eat healthy, but get bored with my usual choices!

  5. allie @ Through Her Looking Glass

    So many great ideas Agness — I love snacking on fresh berries and nuts! Thanks for a great post.

  6. Melissa @ The Tofu Travels

    #7 is my favorite! Dips always feel like indulgent party food, but they can easily be made healthier. Beans & yogurt – or even tofu – can add a nice texture plus a boost of protein. Nice list of tips!

  7. Hey Agness!
    I really love this post. As a cake maker, I struggle to find healthy alternatives because naturally my brain always goes to cake, cake and more cake! I really love the dips idea, that’s something I could easily work into every day! I’m also a big fan of nuts and have been trying to snack on those instead of something sweet recently! Really enjoyed reading!

  8. Some great ideas here Agness! Have you ever the one about eating with a blindfold? It makes you eat slower and fills you up faster. I’ve never tried it as it sounds silly but apparently it works!

  9. Great tips! As the late-great Julia Child always said, “Enjoy everything — just in moderation.” Don’t deny yourself what you crave, just don’t go crazy doing it. 😉

  10. Karen @ Seasonal Cravings

    Such great advice when I’m trying not to stuff my face full of cheese! I’ll keep these tips in mind!

  11. Great tips. It’s so easy to just park yourself at the buffet table at parties. But it’s so much better to be choosy about what you really want to enjoy to its fullest.

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