When family comes to town for the holidays or old classmates want to get together, you are always supposed to bring a snack. When your children have their classroom Christmas parties or Sunday school programs, you have to bring a snack. How about quick and easy real food snacks?
If you are like me and struggle to keep your sweet tooth under control, all these holiday functions are terrible to your waistline! So how can you enjoy so many festivities guilt-free?
By planning ahead a little bit and bringing quick and easy real food snacks for holiday parties and events.
I Love to Bake
Do you love baking like I do? Especially Christmas cookies and candies? If you are like me then you always take a plate of cookies and candies to such events.
I start baking in early December and have ice cream pails of cookies and candies sitting on my front porch (frozen) ready to grab in an instant.
So, my go-to snack is usually a plate of cookies I fill from all my different buckets.
But I intend to change that this year because I am entering the holiday season 30 pounds more than my goal weight. True confessions!
Instead of “planning ahead” to take a plate of frozen cookies and candies to my holiday functions, I’m making an effort this year to set myself up for healthier snacks.
Real food snacks for holiday parties isn’t something that should scare you off or needs to be overly complicated.
Planning ahead can be as simple as:
- Having an extra dozen eggs in the fridge for boiling
- Keeping extra cheese and sausage in the fridge for a meat and cheese plate
- Hiding a container of nuts and raisins so the kiddos (or husband) don’t eat them
It really is quite simple to have delicious snacks ready to take in an instant.
[Notice I didn’t say sugar-free…]
You don’t have to throw sweets completely out!
But be wise with them. Choose real-food sweets that you know don’t have crazy chemical foods and colorings in them. By making your own, you know exactly what’s in them.
For instance, I know my cookies are made with real butter (not shortening) and don’t have a bunch of preservatives or flavor enhancers.
By all means! Feel free to still take cookies and candies!
Read More: How to Use Stevia Instead of Sugar
Quick and Easy Real Food Snacks for Holiday Parties
1. Popcorn – This is such an easy go-to! Pop a big bowl, butter and salt it. Jazz it up a bit with seasoned salt instead of regular. This is also one of the most affordable snacks to share if your budget is tight.
2. Deviled Eggs – Have a dozen or two of hard boiled eggs sitting in the fridge. Then when it’s time to make the deviled eggs they are plenty cool. I don’t have an exact recipe but read 7 Ways to Fix Hard Boiled Eggs for some pointers from me.
4. Trail Mix – Fancy up your mixed nuts a bit more with other dried fruit and/or a seasoning blend. Try Oh, Sweet Basil’s amazing Spiced Trail Mix recipe!
5. Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls – Or just peanut butter popcorn. Here is Gwen’s recipe from KeyIngredient: Honey Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls
6. Caprese On a Stick –
These are so delicious and easy! What you need:
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Mozzarella or string cheese sticks
Cut the cheese into cubes about the size of the tomatoes. Load the skewer with a tomato, a basil leaf and a cube of cheese.
The colors are even perfect for Christmas!
7. Meat and Cheese Tray with Crackers – If possible, put the crackers in a separate bowl so they don’t get soggy.
8. Relish Tray – Pickles, olives (green and black), red beets, and pickled garlic make a colorful tray.
9. Chai – There are delicious chai recipes out there. But Ali from Gimme Some Oven has a great recipe you can make ahead of time to keep in the fridge. Then you just add the milk, heat and serve when needed.
Read More: Healthy Homemade Caramel Popcorn 3 Ways
Learn some more great ways I love to use maple syrup and honey!
11. Spiced cider – Just wing it on this one. Throw some cider in a kettle and add a few slices of orange and lemon peels (if you throw in the whole slice it can get pulpy…). Drop in a couple cinnamon sticks and cloves and simmer for 1/2 an hour.
13. Egg Salad – Bring some crackers to go with the egg salad. If you have time, spread it on bread and cut each slice of bread into four. Mini egg salad sandwiches! Extra points if you garnish each quarter with a sprig of fresh parsley.
14. Veggie tray with Dip
15. Fruit tray with Dip
16. Tortilla Roll-Ups – You can use a recipe for these if you want. Otherwise just throw in what you have. I always start with a cream cheese base, but then you can mix in what you want: guacamole, relish, chopped olives, minced garlic, shredded cheese, etc. Or even layer in some deli meat.
17. Meatballs – Everyone makes freezer meals, how about freezer snacks! Make several pounds of burger into your favorite meatball recipe. [Try Lauren’s Cranberry Meatball recipe from Tastes Better from Scratch.] Bake them all the way through, cool them and freeze them flat on a cookie sheet. After they are frozen, bag them up.
Several hours before, you can throw the meatballs in a crock pot and drizzle some BBQ sauce over. Let them simmer a while and whisk them away to your party. Bring toothpicks with for eating.
18. Deli Meat Rolls – Take pieces of deli meat and wrap them around string cheese. Stick three or four toothpicks evenly spaced, in the roll. Cut between the toothpicks. You have meat and cheese skewers!
19. Chips and Salsa
By planning ahead a bit you can be prepared to share quick and easy real food snacks for holiday parties. Bringing a healthy snack you can enjoy will free you up to snack with the rest of the crowd!