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Better-for-you snacks to satisfy all your holiday guests

The holiday season is a time for everyone to indulge in delicious foods but doing so shouldn’t be a guilt-ridden experience. There are several options available to satisfy your taste buds while still staying on track.  The following are some snack options that not only embrace the latest food trends but are sure to please your guests as well.

* Incorporate gluten-free foods into the menu. Thirty percent of Americans are either contemplating or have adopted a gluten-free diet. With the gluten-free trend on the rise, there are an increasing number of products available to cater to this lifestyle. Nabisco Rice Thins is a new gluten-free snack that offers your guests a light-textured, crispy snacking solution with an irresistible crunch. They are baked and never fried and are available in three flavors including White Rice Original, Brown Rice Sea Salt & Pepper and Brown Rice White Cheddar. Serve them on a festive plate or bowl and you’ve got the perfect addition to any holiday party.

* Provide the protein. Protein-rich foods are natural appetite suppressors which is an added benefit for today’s guilt-free snackers. Offer unsalted nuts in a decorative bowl or combine them with dried soy beans, craisins, and chocolate chips for a sweet and salty snack mix.

* Say cheese. Cheese is a snack food favorite and it is becoming increasingly easy to find low-fat cheese options that are an excellent source of protein, vitamin D and calcium. String cheese can be a popular choice, as are individually wrapped cheddar offerings that allow your guests to snack as they see fit. Mix up the variety of cheese options on your favorite platter and craft fun identifiers to let your guests know what flavor they are sampling.

* Jazz up a classic crudité. Fruits and vegetables remain the favorite guilt-free snacking option. Rather than serving just the typical carrot and celery sticks, offer your guests a taste of seasonal bites like broccoli, cauliflower, beets and Brussels sprouts. Let the vibrant colors of your seasonal veggies dictate the creative arrangement of your platter and be sure to offer a better-for-you dip option like hummus as an alternative to ranch.  If you plan on serving fruit for a sweet finish, offer up unique fruits they may not have tasted before such as star fruit or plantains. Add protein to the fruit by stuffing grapes with almonds or providing apple slices and peanut butter for dipping.

With these snacking tips, creating fun, guilt-free snacks for your group has never been easier.

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