Arm your party with healthy birthday snacks that look and taste indulgent, but are really just healthy foods in disguise! Aim to incorporate healthy additions or swaps to up the nutritional quotient of your treat, and do your best to keep the calories and fat down.
Here are 6 healthy birthday snacks to celebrate with:
1. Chocolate Covered Strawberries
The ultimate in decadence, this Valentine’s Day staple is making a comeback for your birthday bash. Make them yourself and you’ll save yourself some major dough on top of the calories that you’re saving! To prepare them, boil some water and put a bit in the larger of two bowls. In the meantime, put your dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl that will fit in the larger bowl. Microwave some dark chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring each time in between. When it is melted, place the entire bowl in the hot water to keep the chocolate soft. Rinse and dry the strawberries and dip in the chocolate. Place them on wax paper to harden. Serve them on a cake plate with a few candles in the largest berries in the center.
Think small — make your treats on a small scale, and scale back calories and fat as well. Mini cupcakes, mini tarts and mini cheesecakes keep calories to a minimum. Put out a huge and delicious looking fruit platter so you have other sweets to indulge in as well.
Food on a stick is always fun, and a rainbow array of fruits is no exception. Thread a large strawberry, then 1 piece each cantaloupe, pineapple, green grape, blackberry, then purple grape on a wood skewer to make the rainbow. For added presentation, stick the skewers into an uncut pineapple. Talk about eating with your eyes!
4. Trail mix
Make your trail mix seem indulgent by toasting Wheat Chex cereal and almonds, with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, in your broiler. When they’ve cooled, mix with some dark chocolate chips, raisins and some pretzel sticks. This delicious snack will tide everyone over until cake, thanks to the fiber in the cereal and the protein in the nuts.
5. Reduced Fat Cake
If your birthday isn’t complete without cake, make some swaps. Swap your boxed cake for homemade, and get rid of those unidentifiable ingredients that you find in the box. Trade oils for equal parts apple sauce (in either homemade or boxed cakes) and save yourself some fat and calories as well.
6. Angel Food Cake
With virtually no fat and only 130 calories per slice, angel food cake is your go to birthday treat. It’s easier than you think to make it, so give it a try. Or try a store bought version for an easy fix. Thaw a bag of mixed berries or buy some delicious fresh berries to top the cake. For an extra delicious treat, drizzle the cake with some melted dark chocolate–no need to smother it in frosting when a little dark chocolate will snag you some antioxidants and look sophisticated.
Don’t let your birthday derail your diet, but be sure that you celebrate in style. Try one (or all) of these treats to at your next bash.