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 – delicious ideas for summer barbecues, family hangouts around the fire pit, potlucks, and beach picnics. I’m especially focusing on sides and snacks, so that you can bring something to a barbecue if you’re not hosting.

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

Rachel Trotta

I am a Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Physique and Bodybuilding Specialist, and Women's Fitness Specialist. I live in New Jersey in the NYC metro area, and I coach clients online all over the world. As a trainer and health writer, my mission is to make healthy living sustainable for the average person. I’m also a wife, mom, nature lover, runner, avid cook, weightlifting aficionado, history nerd, travel addict, and obsessive podcast listener. Get in touch!

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