Throw a Healthy Graduation Party with These Low-Calorie Snacks
It’s graduation season, meaning there will likely be an abundance of wings, burgers, desserts, and soft drinks at many of the parties you might be attending. Want to shake things up and host a celebration that won’t leave you and your guests feeling bloated and guilty? These graduation party snacks will bring in straight A’s on your health report card:
1. Hummus and veggies
Get your protein and vegetable servings all in one snack that satisfies your cravings for something creamy with a little bit of crunch. Homemade hummus, versus store-bought, is your healthiest bet with lower levels of sodium and no added sugars. Plus it’s easy to make: Just blend some chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and seasoning (sesame paste or tahini optional). Chickpeas are also packed with iron, zinc, fiber, and potassium. Pair hummus with carrots, sliced cucumber, cauliflower, or baked pita chips, and it’s bound to go as quickly as the last four years!
2. Cheese and crackers
Like any tasty snack, it’s easy to overdo it with cheese and crackers, but you can enjoy this classic combo guilt-free, as long as you enjoy it in moderation. When it comes to crackers, choose an option that’s high in fiber and protein and low in sugar and saturated fat. Some of your healthier cheese options include high-protein, high-calcium Swiss; low-fat, part-skim mozzarella; low-fat, aged Parmesan cheese; and creamy but low in fat goat cheese. When possible, opt for local, organic cheeses for the highest quality.
3. Fruit kebabs
For a colorful, low-calorie option that will satisfy your craving for sweets as well as your day’s serving of fruit, cut up some melons, pineapple, strawberries, and bananas, and pick some grapes to make eye-catching fruit kebabs! High in potassium, Vitamin C, folate, and magnesium, among other nutrients, they’re also naturally delicious. Plus, after just a little effort of chopping and skewering, you don’t have to do much else to make it look good!
4. Dips and salsas
Aside from hummus, there are a ton of healthy dip options that go great with any veggies you have on hand. Try a dukkah spiced yogurt dip or cucumber yogurt dip with dill and lemon for stand-out options. You can also whip up a quick salsa with diced tomatoes (if you’re going with a canned option, make sure the can says “no salt added”), onion, jalapeño, black beans, corn, and cilantro to go with organic tortilla chips—just make sure you don’t put more than a small handful on your plate to avoid over-indulging.
5. Cucumber sandwiches
Another crunchy, tasty, finger food sure to be a favorite are cucumber sandwiches, leaving out the bread. Pile small slices of turkey or chicken on top of a cucumber, or skip the meat, and add a little hummus, grated carrot, and a slice of cheese like in this recipe. You won’t be able to eat just one.
6. Lettuce wraps
You can do lettuce wraps any number of ways—so why pick just one? You can easily go spicy, vegetarian, Asian-inspired, or classic with chicken, ground turkey, or tempeh mixed with your favorite veggies, sauces, and spices wrapped in butter lettuce or romaine. Here are 15 healthy recipes to get you inspired.
Looking for more healthy food options for your graduation party? Check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ other nutrition articles for inspiration!