By Deanna Talwalkar
The start of a New Year brings a new attitude! After the holidays, many of us have a renewed focus on healthy habits for the upcoming year. If your New Year’s resolutions include a commitment to eating better and having a healthier lifestyle, you don’t have to forego hosting parties and get-togethers. Instead, when planning parties for the New Year, a few simple changes will allow you to continue to have a good time without breaking your New Year’s resolutions.
Serve A Signature Drink
For an adult party, consider serving light beers and wine, which have less calories than some mixed drinks. If you’d like to include a mixed drink, pick a signature drink for the party, such as a low calorie Mojito or specialty gin and tonic. For guests that want to mix their own drinks, set out low calorie mixers, such as sparkling water, seltzers, diet sodas, and fruit juices. Consider drink options for a kids-only party, too. Instead of soda or high calorie fruit juices, choose water or a small amount of fruit juice mixed with sparkling water.
Serve Food and Drink in a Designated Space
Overeating at a party is easy to do with so many finger foods sitting around. If guests are able to simply pick up appetizers to nibble on during the party, they will likely eat much more. To avoid mindless overeating, have some food free zones for guests to gather.
Serve Food on Small Plates
Small plates, small glasses and even small silverware all help guests eat less. We all tend to fill up our plates and glasses. If the plates are smaller, then you and the guests won’t be tempted to overfill. Smaller glasses will also restrain you and guests from drinking too many calories.
Skip the Pizza
If you are serving a meal, pizza is always an easy party choice, especially for kids’ parties. But, pizza and other fast food is not typically a healthy choice. Some other options for a kids’ party might be individual lunch or dinner boxes. Include healthy choices like lean meat on whole grain breads, pasta salads with vegetables, and fruits. You could also build a meal around a lean protein, such as chicken or turkey.
Don’t Skimp on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
If you want to provide healthier snacks at your party, fresh fruits and vegetables are your top choice. Fresh fruits and vegetables are not only low calorie, but since they are full of fiber, they will also help to fill up guests. For a cocktail party, serving fresh vegetables in mini glasses make for a fun presentation. Simply pour a small amount of dip in the bottom of the glass, then fill with vegetable sticks for portable snacking.
Make Mini Desserts
Instead of cake or larger portions of other desserts, mini desserts are a fun, festive choice. Small items like cake balls, small sugar cookies, and mini cupcakes allow guests to have a taste of dessert without indulging in oversized portions.
Have Activities for Kids
If you will be hosting a kid’s party this year, make sure to plan activities at the party. Trampoline parks, ice skating rinks, bowling lanes and laser tag centers are all popular venues for a kid’s party. A kid’s birthday party that revolves around a fun activity will get kids moving, all while having a good time. If you are planning to host a party at your house, planning a few active games will also do the trick.
Even with a new commitment to healthier living, you can still host great parties in the New Year. By preparing a few healthy options, you won’t have to worry about the temptation to over indulge and you will be on the way to a fit, fabulous you for 2015!