Thanksgiving Meal Tip #2 – Serve appetizers

It might seem counterintuitive to suggest adding more food to your table, but offering guests appetizers can satiate hunger early and reduce the desire to overeat at dinner. Appetizers are also a great way to sneak in something a little healthier, according to this tip from the ECU College of Nursing.

Here are some smart ideas for keeping appetizers healthy:


  • Plates of raw vegetables – Celery, carrots and broccoli are go-tos for crudité platters. We love them, but you might find them boring. Think about offering unexpected vegetables like asparagus, radishes, green beans and snow peas.
  • Bean-based or non-dairy dips – Instead of ranch or sour cream-based dips, consider offering hummus or white bean dip. These alternatives have less saturated fat, but more fiber and hunger-reducing protein. Another easy idea that’s low in calories, but big on taste is Wasabi pea dip. Consider adding ginger.
  • Fruit (fresh or dried) – If you’re buying dried fruit, make sure it says “No Sugar Added.”
  • Whole, unsalted nuts –Nuts like almonds and walnuts are a great source of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats or “good fats”, as well as vitamin E. Omega-3s can lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and are good for joints and the brain.


  • Fatty, dairy-based dips like ranch or French onion.
  • Cheese – We all love cheese, but it beats out red meat for the number one source of saturated fat in our diets. For a calorie-dense meal like Thanksgiving, leave the cheese in the fridge.
  • Crackers and chips – These are loaded with carbs and sodium, and many crackers can be full of hidden refined sugars.