Healthy Ideas for Entertaining

Healthy Ideas for Entertaining

For many of my clients, social events are the most difficult eating situations to navigate.

They’re having fun and special time with friends and family… but there’s a cheese plate (or tortilla bowl) that they JUST. CAN’T. STOP. EATING.

In today’s blog post, I’m sharing with you some healthy ideas for entertaining – ideas for summer barbecues, family hangouts around the fire pit, potlucks, and beach picnics.

I’m not including the “mains” for these events because (1) if you’re the guest, you’re probably not providing them, and (2) these foods tend not to be the ones we keep going back to over and over again. If you want to make chicken kebabs for a barbecue as an alternative to burgers, great! But I also encourage clients to enjoy all foods. So if you want the burger, don’t worry about making an ultra-healthy choice!

By bringing sides and snacks to an event, you empower yourself to include healthy real-food ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and legumes, as well as high-protein food sources like Greek yogurt, in your day. You’ll know that at least if there’s no other healthy choices at a social event, you’ll have the one thing you brought… and you can fill up on something other than tortilla chips!


Sweet and Smoky Shredded Brussels Sprouts Slaw – Real Food Dietitians

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip – Clean Eating Couple

Healthy Fruit Pizza – Fit Foodie Finds

Layered Shawarma Dip – Real Food Dietitians

Strawberry Cheesecake Dip – Skinnytaste

Black Bean and Corn Salsa with Avocado – Real Food Dietitians

Spinach and Cannellini Bean Dip – Food Network (Giada de Laurentiis)

Keep in mind that if you bring a dip of some kind, you can also bring something like sliced vegetables or rice cakes to make frequent dipping a little lighter.

Cookbook Recommendation

I also want to recommend Melissa Hartwig Urban’s Whole30 cookbook for special occasions, which includes 150 recipes and healthy mocktails. This is helpful because sometimes it’s not the food that’s the issue – it’s that you need some alternate ideas for adult beverages!

Product Recommendations

Bringing snacks to a summer party doesn’t necessarily require cooking… here are some pre-made (or whole food) items that can be great additions to a social event, with Amazon links included.

Bhuja Cracker Mix

Poppi Prebiotic Sparkling Soda

Mary’s Gone Garlic Rosemary Crackers

The Good Bean Chili Lime Chickpeas

Urban Accents Greek Tzatziki Delish Dip Mix – just add nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Laiki Black Rice Crackers

Homemade PB fruit dip – peanut butter + nonfat plain Greek yogurt + stevia


Fruit plate

Veggie plate