We are guaranteed to have tasty food whenever visiting grandma’s house but there aren’t too many healthy choices. The holidays are supposed to be about family time more than the food but so often we make it the other way around. So what does a person do who is trying to lose weight or just eat healthier? Why, offer to bring your own healthy Christmas starters to share!

Traditional starters at Christmastime for my family include cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, shrimp with dipping sauce, and Aunt Dawn’s deviled eggs. This year I would like to try to have something different, preferably healthier, to help me hit my goal weight over the holidays. Here are some healthy Christmas starters that would be good options to see at grandma’s for us all to enjoy.

Grinch fruit kabobs

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From http://www.momables.com/grinch-fruit-kabobs/

– Mini marshmallows
– Strawberries, tops sliced off
– Banana, peeled and sliced
– Green grapes
– Toothpicks

Wash and cut the fruit. On each toothpick assemble your kabob as follows: one marshmallow, one strawberry, one banana, one grape.

Baked zucchini bites

From http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=296237

– 2 Medium zucchini, cut into ¼” slices
– ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
– ⅛ tsp black pepper
– 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
– 2 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 475 F (or 500 F depending upon your oven). In a small bowl mix mix the breadcrumbs, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl. Dip the zucchini slices in the egg whites then coat with the breadcrumbs mixture. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, flip, and bake for another 5 minutes until the bites are brown and crispy.

Skinny caramel apple dip

From http://www.thecookierookie.com/skinny-caramel-apple-dip/

– 8-ounce package fat free cream cheese, softened
– ½ a tub (about 6 ounces) fat-free or light cool whip
– ½ cup white chocolate chips (optional)
– 16-ounce jar of your favorite caramel sauce

In an electric mixer, blend cream cheese, Cool Whip, and caramel sauce until well combined. Mix in white chocolate chips (if using). Eat immediately or refrigerate for about an hour to allow to firm up a bit. Serve with apple slices.

Pumpkin yogurt

From http://greenlitebites.com/2009/12/24/pumpkin-yogurt/

– 1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin (120g)
– 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (115g)
– 1 tbsp honey (21g)
– 1/2 tsp vanilla
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all ingredients together. Serve with graham crackers.

christmas starters_2

Bacon-cheddar cheese tarts

From weight watchers what to cook now

– 1 tsp olive oil
– 1 Sweet onion, quartered & thinly sliced
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 3 slices canadian bacon, finely chopped
– 1/4 cup fat free half-and-half
– 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
– 1/8 tsp black pepper
– 24 Frozen mini-phyllo tart shells
– 1/3 cup finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and salt; cover and cook until onion is softened. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden brown. Transfer to plate. Add bacon to skillet and cook until lightly browned.

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl whisk together egg substitute, half-and-half, mustard, and pepper. Arrange tart shells on baking sheet. Spoon onions evenly into shells. Sprinkle bacon evenly over onions. Pour about 1 tsp egg mixture into each tart. Sprinkle tops evenly with cheese and bake until egg mixture is set.

Bruschetta

From vegan holiday kitchen by nava atlas

– 1 long fresh baguette or Italian bread
– Olive oil cooking spray
– 1 large clove garlic, halved

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the bread into approximately 1/2-3/4 inch thick slices. Place them on a nonstick baking sheet. Spray tops lightly with the oil. Bake for 7 minutes, then turn them, spray lightly again, and continue to bake for 5-7 more minutes, until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and cool completely. Once cooled enough to handle, rub one side of each slice of toast with the open side of the garlic. To serve, place the toast I a cloth napkin lined bowl or basket.

Holiday crab dip

From lickety-split diabetic meals by zonya foco

– 8 oz fat free cream cheese
– 1/2 cup seafood cocktail sauce
– 1 can (6 oz) crab meat, well drained

Mash cream cheese and spread across the bottom of a decorative serving platter. Spread cocktail sauce over the cream cheese. Sprinkle crab meat chunks over the sauce. Circle the platter with low fat whole wheat crackers or bagel chips.

Which of these Christmas starters would you like to try?

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