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Holiday Party Survival Guide

When caught up in the cavalcade of holiday parties, it can be hard to eat sensibly. Here are some tips to consider at your next cocktail party to help control festive feasting.

• Eat Ahead: Don't skip meals in an attempt to save on calories. Arriving hungry to a party will make you more likely to gorge. Instead, before heading out, eat a satisfying snack like Summer Fresh Hummus and vegetables that contain protein and complex carbohydrates to curb your appetite.

• Strategic Snacking: Load up on low fat items. Fill two thirds of your plate with healthy choices leaving only a third for higher fat items like cheeses and fried appetizers.

• Fibre Friendly: Choose high fibre foods like whole grain breads, vegetables, fruit and hummus; they provide that ‘full’ feeling and take longer to chew, causing you to eat less.

• Hydration Habit: Drink a glass of water between every cocktail. This will save on excess calories and make you feel fuller and less likely to snack.

• The Perfect Plate: Grab the smallest plate you can find or even just a napkin to limit your portion size.

• Location, Location: Grab a comfortable spot away from the buffet table. Standing in close proximity to food promotes mindless nibbling. It is okay to enjoy your favourite Summer Fresh Cheesy Dip, but drop only a few spoonfuls on a plate with veggies and move out!

• More than Mingling: Chew slowly and involve yourself in lots of small-talk to keep your mouth moving instead of munching.

• Right on Time: Arrive fashionably late. If you can avoid a fully laden buffet table you may be less tempted to load up a plate.

• Practice Picky: Rather than try a little of everything, save calories for one or two items that you know you'll really enjoy.

When it's your turn to host, serve up a guilt-free cocktail party. Start with a selection of delicious Summer Fresh Dips and Hummus, and round out the buffet with lots of wholesome dippers such as fresh cut vegetables, fruit, whole grain breads and pitas.

Amy Snider-Whitson
President, The Test Kitchen Incorporated

Amy Snider-Whitson has developed nutrition programs and guided food marketers to use health and diet messages responsibly and meaningfully.

She employs a battery of nutrition databases and has contacts at the CFIA, USDA, FDA and ADA with whom she frequently consults to help make responsible claims that can help consumers to lead healthier lives.

Contact Amy at

Click to read Amy's Full Bio

Past Articles

• Nutritious Harvest Vegetables

• Smart After School Snacks

• Summer Salad Days

• Weeknight Grill Buddies

• Seven Layer Heaven

• I Love Mom

• Spring Planting

• Nutrition Myths

• Family Day Fun

• Cupboard Clean-Up: Snack Attack

• Holiday Party Survival Guide

• Entertaining Special Diets

• Thanksgiving Shakedown

• Dinner Made Easy

• Glycemic Index Primer

• Summertime Switch Up

• Just For Men

• Mommy Love

• Spring Bounty

• Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Food

• Food for the Heart

• Countdown to improve your health

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