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    Healthy and festive party snacks

    submitted by Beth Ceccarelli, MS, RD, LDN, www.ShopRite.com

    If your to-do list this holiday season includes whipping up the perfect holiday appetizer for a party that you’re hosting or attending, we’ve got great news for you.

    With a little advance planning, it’s easy to create delectable party appetizers that are delicious and good-for-you, too.

    Holiday Favorite: Flatbread Pizza

    Lighten it up: Grab some flatbread from your local bakery, add some low-fat mozzarella, a handful of fresh veggies (peppers, mushrooms and spinach is a good combo) and a jar of organic tomato sauce, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a crowd-pleasing party starter. “The veggies add a nutritional punch of healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber,” says Stephanie Perez, Retail Dietitian Supervisor at ShopRite supermarket. “The best part is that you won’t be lacking in flavor.”

    Holiday Favorite: Nachos

    Lighten it up: Everyone loves to nosh and nibble on crunchy nachos while they mix and mingle, but if you’re looking to expand your snack repertoire, you can swap out your usual corn chips for better-for-you versions made from veggies, black beans or sweet potatoes.

    Top with shredded rotisserie chicken, cooked organic dried beans from the Wholesome Pantry line, low-fat cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes or salsa and some low-fat sour cream on the side, and these nachos will be the star of the evening. “Black beans are loaded with fiber and protein which will fill you up and keep you satiated,” says Stephanie. “Together with the lean chicken and low-fat cheese and veggies on top, you’re getting a lot of nutrition in even just a small helping.”

    Holiday Favorite: Delicious Avocado Dips

    Lighten it up: Homemade guacamole is a cinch to make – all you need are a few ripe avocados, lime juice, red onion, garlic, salt, pepper and some cilantro, and you’re in business!

    Loaded with folate, vitamin E and healthy monounsaturated fat, guacamole (in moderation, of course), is always a crowd pleaser.

    Serve with a variety of sliced veggies or top and toasted bread for “avocado toast” – it’s the perfect appetizer for any party.