turkey meatballs CC meal makeover moms

When you’re watching what you eat, party can sound like a four letter word.

Have no fear: if you’re throwing the shindig yourself—or attending someone else’s— nibbles nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot gave us these suggestions to keep you on a nutritious, yet yummy, track.

OUT: Crab Cakes   IN: Shrimp Cocktail

shrimp cocktail CC Steven DepoloClassic crab cakes are often filled with fattening fillers and are fried, making them a less than healthy appetizer option. Just one fried crab cake will cost you 290 calories and 19g fat, and that’s before the creamy dipping sauce! Instead, reach for waistline friendly shrimp cocktail.

Five large shrimp with 2 tablespoons cocktail sauce is only 45 calories and 0g fat.  Shrimp is a great source of lean protein, which will help fill you up before dinner is served.


chicken strips cc meal makeover moms

 OUT: Chicken Wings  IN: Chicken Strips

An order of Buffalo wings can be over 1,700 calories. Chicken wings contain a minimal amount of meat, and are mostly skin and bones. Spicy foods, though, have the added benefit of spiking thermogenesis, the heat-producing effect that raises metabolism.

To get the hot flavor (and metabolism spike) without the over-the-top amount of calories and fat, replace wings with chicken breast strips. Crisp them in the oven, and coat in a sizzling buffalo sauce.

turkey meatballs CC meal makeover momsOUT: Italian Meatballs  IN: Turkey Breast Meatballs

An average serving of four meatballs can have as much as 560 calories and 42g of fat. That’s because a traditional meatball consists of fat-filled beef, or a mixture with fatty pork.

To save on calories and fat, swap out traditional meats for fat-free ground turkey breast—a recipe of which can pack around 250 calories and 4g fat. That’s almost 90% less fat!

OUT: Spinach And Artichoke Dip With Cheese, Chips  In:  Spinach And Artichoke Dip With Yogurt, Veggies

spinach dip cc Jo del CorroA typical serving of spinach and artichoke dip contains up to 1,100 calories and 100 grams of fat, which is almost a day’s worth of calories. If you want to make your own, substitute fat-free Greek yogurt for the mayo and cheese. It will retain the creamy texture while slashing more than half the calories and saturated fat.

Additionally, spinach and artichoke is commonly served with bread or tortilla and pita chips. If the option is available, cut calories by skinny-dipping. Skip the chips and instead dip with veggies like carrots, celery, or red pepper strips. Because these vegetables have a high water content, they fill you up on minimal calories.

OUT: Mayo-Filled Deviled Eggs  IN: Less Devilish Eggs

deviled eggs CC Meal Makeover MomsLow-carb and packed with flavor, savory deviled eggs are delicious, super-portable and they fill you up. However, with the addition of mayonnaise to the egg yolk, the calories and fat are nearly doubled.

Skip the mayo and add nonfat plain Greek yogurt, diced peppers, and a little paprika for a spicy, high-protein bite. Another option is swapping the mayo for mashed avocado, a healthy Omega-3 fat that will turn the eggs green–great for Christmas, Irish, or sports-themed events. Try swapping salsa to turn the eggs red.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS RD, is a Registered Dietitian in private practice in Manhattan and founder of the F-Factor Diet. 

Photos: Jo del Corro, Steven Depolo, Meal Makeover Moms, CC

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