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I was recently asked to write a guest article for Mom a La Mode.  Head over to to Mom a La Mode and check out Hip & Healthy Kids’ featured post “A Hip & Healthy Guide to Holiday Entertaining“.  Be sure to stay a while and explore other great reading by Mom a la Mode and guests.  (Content can also be found below.)

As we get into the full swing of the holiday season, many of us will be gathering up our close friends for a festive soirée.  The holidays are known for indulgences and a time when many of us throw caution to the wind and eat whatever is passed by on an ornate tray.  How great would it be, though, if we could host a cocktail party that would not have our guests suppressing the thought of a treadmill come the New Year?   Even more importantly, incorporating food that will not have our guests one step closer to a doctor’s visit.  Let’s figure out how . . . and let’s do it with taste and style in mind.

Pass the Hor D’Oeurves Please

Dips are a great way to allow your guests to graze whileAvocado conversing.  Instead of serving a cheese-heavy microwaved dip, there are much better selections.  Guacamole is my top pick.  Many people associate avocado with fat, and while it is true that 85% of its calories come from fat, the fat is healthy for you.   Avocados promote heart health, help regulate your body’s inflammatory response, and optimize absorption of other nutrients.

Another great option is hummus.  Hummus is mainly comprised of chickpeas which are rich in protein and do not contain saturated fats.  Chickpeas have been known to help prevent buildup of cholesterol in blood vessels.  Serve this with pita chips and veggie sticks and you have a great spread.

Drink and be Merry

Avoid Cocktail mixes which are typically loaded with high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes.  Instead, squeeze the limes yourself and throw in some fresh fruit which will be healthier and more visually appealing to guests.

If you are an invitee to a cocktail party, help the host by bringing an organic wine.  With your purchase of organic wine, your dollar goes to supporting organic farming.  You also help the guests avoid exposure to fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and likely the Cuma Winepreservative: sulfites. Sans sulfites, your holiday buzz should be more pleasant as well, with less of a lingering hang over effect. (Stay tuned for an upcoming Hip & Healthy Kids post for a closer look at organic versus conventional food.)

HIP TIP:  Combine the organic wine and fresh fruit, and voilà, holiday sangria!

Setting the Scene

These pin-worthy spreads are sure to give you some entertaining inspiration.

This rustic outdoor table is a fun treat.  I can almost smell the wood burning now after a long day of Vermont skiing.

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Use nontraditional items to give your table a pop.  Here you see potted flowers instead of traditional evergreen or holly.  The oversized silver pine cones give a beautiful visual dimension to the space as well.

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This unique Parisian holiday table is nicely accompanied by customized chairbacks.  Who would have thought to couple metal Eiffel towers with your holiday decorating?

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Find ways to incorporate your individual style at your next holiday gathering.   Keep it hip and fun.  And remember to show your guests how much you care by giving them the best present this holiday: fare that will keep them healthy.

LMD Cookies      New Years 1

       Organic Baking        New Year’s Whole (Re)Solution

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