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Health Tip: Dish Up a Healthy Party Buffet

(HealthDay News) -- Party snacks don't have to be unhealthy or tasteless. There are plenty of ways to dish up delicious, fun and healthy snacks to please any crowd.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends:

  • Present the foods in a fun way, such as by cutting out fruit and vegetables into fun shapes with cookie cutters and serving with dips, or serving fruit or veggie kabobs.
  • If you're looking for convenience, serve air-popped popcorn, whole-wheat tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa, or whole-wheat pita bread and hummus. Make trail mix with whole-grain cereal, dried fruit and nuts.
  • Make a healthier spinach artichoke dip by sauteeing garlic, spinach and artichokes and mixing with fat-free Greek yogurt and Parmesan cheese. Serve with veggies and whole-wheat bread.
  • Create a veggie tray with lots of brightly-colored vegetables. Serve a protein-packed main dish, such as meatballs made with lean ground beef or turkey, or mini-pizzas with whole wheat pitas, low sodium sauce, low-fat mozzarella and veggies on top.
  • Skip soda and serve 100 percent fruit juice (add a dash of sparkling water), or water served with fresh fruit.
  • Serve sweet treats at the end of the party. Opt for single-serve fruit treats such as popsicles or yogurt.
  • Let kids help prepare and serve the food.
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