The Holiday Party Food Guide

by Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D.

The Holiday Party Food Guide

Operation: Holiday party. The alcohol is flowing. The sumptuous, fatty foods beckon your tongue. You may think your diet is doomed. We beg to differ. Indulge in our party food guide, and learn to treat yourself without trashing your waistline.


Rum Punch
The not-so-skinny: Chances are, you’ll find several pitchers of this crowd-pleasing cocktail at your next soiree. However, one serving packs around 220 calories, and it’s easy to kick back three of these (what girl doesn’t like grenadine?). In addition to the sugar high, the alcohol may make you feel more uninhibited. Before you know it, you scarf down four pigs in a blanket, and your good time just cost you big-time.
The verdict: Skip It!

The not-so-skinny: This traditional bevvie has 350 calories and almost 30 percent of your daily recommended fat for the day. Add an extra 100 calories if it’s spiked.
The verdict: Skip it!

Mulled Cider
The skinny: Two sips of this tasty drink and you’ll want to cocoon by a roaring fire with your first love. Lucky for you (and your significant other), five ounces only runs about 120 calories and is brimming with vitamin C and potassium.
The verdict: Pick it!

Hot Cocoa
The skinny: This is the way to satisfy your sweet tooth! Use real cocoa powder for a boost of antioxidants, and stay away from overly sugary mixes and whipped cream overload.
The verdict: Pick it!

The skinny: What better way to ring in the New Year than with O.J. and bubbly? At roughly 75 calories a pop (if you use champagne flutes), you can afford to toast twice — to your health and your prosperity.
The verdict: Pick it!


Hummus & Pita Chips
The skinny: Hummus is full of flavor, protein, fiber and healthy fats. Two tablespoons has only 50 calories, 3 grams of fat and is plenty of dip for a handful of pita chips. Salty fix? Check!
The verdict: Pick it!

Pigs in a Blanket
The not-so-skinny: Just four of these babies stack up to around 310 calories and 22 grams of fat. And who eats just four?
The verdict: Skip it!

Hamburger Sliders
The skinny: Calories depend on the size of the patty and add-ons, such as fried onions and mayo. Larger-sized sliders can weigh in at over 200 calories each. If you have a burger urge, munch on one, and keep it as naked as possible.
The verdict: Pick it — in moderation.

Spiced Nuts
The skinny: Most nuts have about 7 calories each and plenty of heart healthy fat. The danger is portion size — salty, sweet coatings make them irresistible. Beware of the endless handfuls that can rack up hundreds of calories.
The verdict: Pick it — but stick to one handful.

Sugar Cookies
The skinny: One medium cookie has fewer than 100 calories. They’re a better choice than many other calorie-laden desserts.
The verdict: Pick it — but stick to one or two, tops.

Toby Amidor is a registered dietician and the owner of Toby Amidor Nutrition. She holds a master’s degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics from New York University. You can follow her on Twitter at @tobyamidor.