The season for holiday parties is here, and at Central Ozarks Medical Center we understand the struggle to find healthy eating options is very real. Of course, we want to celebrate and enjoy ourselves this time of the year. But we don’t want to wreck our eating habits or ignore our health at the same time … and we don’t have to. With some creative ideas, we can celebrate and not be so worried about what we are snacking on when we know we have some healthy and delicious alternatives. Our Mid-Missouri health clinics are all about supporting our community with ways to improve and maintain the overall health of all our citizens. We found some fun ideas for healthy holiday snacks that we thought you would enjoy making (and eating). Read on to see if you can discover a new favorite to take to your next holiday party!
Kiwi Christmas Tree
For this snack, you will need kiwis peeled and sliced, and some blueberries or pomegranate seeds for ornaments. Simply stack the kiwi slices in a cone shape and add “ornaments” to decorate. You can also do this flat on the plate rather than stacked vertically. Just use the kiwi slices cut in half for tree branches and lay them on the plate in the shape of a tree and “decorate”.
Santa Hat Strawberries
These are so cute and SO simple. You will need strawberries, a banana, and some mini marshmallows to make this snack. Just cut the top of a strawberry and place it upside-down (pointed end up) on a slice of banana (about a quarter to a half-inch thick). Then use a toothpick to add a mini-marshmallow for the pom-pom and connect all three pieces. Make them into Grinch-kabobs by adding a green grape under the banana slice for the Grinches head.
Christmas Tree Cucumber Sandwich
Just using a cookie-cutter makes this idea more festive. You will need sliced bread, an English cucumber, and cream cheese (softened at room temperature). Just cut the bread with a Christmas Tree-shaped cookie cutter, spread a layer of cream cheese on it, and layer thin slices of cucumber on it to make the branches of the tree. You can use little pieces of red bell pepper for ornaments.
Santa Veggie Tray
Have you heard of paint by number? This is like painting with vegetables! You will need red bell peppers (cut into strips for snacking), cauliflower (cut into bite-sized pieces), black olives, cherry tomatoes, and a cucumber. Start by lining up the red bell pepper slices in a triangle shape at top of the plate to create Santa’s hat. The cauliflower will make up Santa’s beard and the fur trim and pom-pom on his hat. Peel and slice the cucumber to use for Santa’s face, add a curved red bell pepper slice for his mouth and a cherry tomato for his nose. Make it complete with black olives for eyes and cherry tomatoes below his beard to represent his shirt!
Strawberry Banana Candy Cane
All you need for this one are strawberries and bananas. Slice them both crossways into equally thick slices and arrange them on a plate alternating white and red and curving it into a candy cane shape. You can also do this with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese for a Caprese version. Use basil leaves for garnish and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
In the same fashion, you can make a wreath with basil leaves as the base layer, then add tomatoes for “berries” and mozzarella chunks for ornaments and drizzle balsamic vinegar like a garland.
Healthy Holidays from Central Ozarks Medical Center!
We hope you have fun trying these quick and easy snack ideas for your next Christmas dinner or just to snack on at home. We know you can’t avoid all unhealthy eating, but when you can include some nutritious snacks along with all the other holiday options, you give your body more than just empty calories. As health care providers in Mid-Missouri, we know that the better you take care of your body, the better it is able to take care of you. Our physicians and nurse practitioners in Osage Beach, Camdenton, and Richland care about the overall health of the citizens of the communities we serve. For all your medical, dental, and behavioral health needs, we are here to serve you, regardless of your insurance status. At Central Ozarks Medical Center, it is not just what we do, but how we do it that makes all the difference. Be sure to follow us on our social media channels for more health tips and information.
Central Ozarks Medical Center
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Serving Camdenton, Laclede, Pulaski, and Miller Counties