Nutrition Articles

Chips and Dips Get a Healthy Makeover

Skip Chips and Slim Down Dips for Healthier Party Fare

314SHARES
What would life be like without parties? And what's a party without great snacks? Too often, food is an afterthought to the drinks at cocktail, Super Bowl and holiday parties. What's a healthy eater to do when her only choices are a cheese ball (100 calories, 7 grams fat per serving) and crackers or a bowl of thick and creamy onion dip (60 calories, 6 grams fat per serving) with greasy potato chips? Make over your party fare with these new "chip" ideas, and slimmed down dips, which are affordable and healthy, too!

Ditch the Chips
Dig into your dip with one of these more nutritious options instead:
  • Grilled chicken (or tofu) chunks
  • Broccoli or cauliflower, steamed or raw
  • Bite size chunks of crusty whole-grain bread
  • Small whole wheat pretzels (Yes, they do exist!)
  • Pita chips
  • Miniature whole wheat pita breads
  • Baby carrots
  • Bell peppers, sliced into strips or cut into triangles (Remove top and bottom, then core peppers. Slice down center so pepper lies flat, then cut into triangles.)
  • Endive leaves
  • Inner leaves from Romaine lettuce
Slim Down Your Dip
Start the party off right. Instead of rich, creamy and cheesy dips, try a lighter version of that favorite dip. And remember, one serving of dip is about 1 ounce or 2 Tablespoons—that's about the size of a pair of dice.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip I'm famous for my healthier version of this recipe, which contains just 66 calories per serving. Just like the kind you get in restaurants, it's creamy and full of cheese. However, I use light cream cheese and just enough parmesan to add flavor. I sauté onions and garlic to add extra flavor. Even if you serve this with tortilla chips (one of my favorite treats at parties), the dip is still far lighter than the restaurant versions, which can have up to 775 calories per oversized serving!
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314SHARES

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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

  • FOXGLOVE999
    I make dip with light sour cream, I don't do yogurt. My favorites are ranch dip, blue cheese dip, and avocado ranch dip. I like Kettle Brand baked chips. It's seem to be all to rage right now to make chips out of all kinds of vegetables, but if you check the labels, they are not any better for you, even the commercially made pita chips are terrible. Baked potato chips are much better. - 9/6/2014 3:39:06 PM
  • JNJ300
    I make "chips" by thinly slicing turnip or jicama. - 4/11/2014 8:31:06 AM
  • I don't care for dip. - 8/14/2013 3:54:16 PM
  • Kale chips! Yum! - 3/14/2013 5:58:26 AM
  • When making dips, use plain yogurt. Using plain yogurt and stevia sweetner is a wonderful dip for fresh fruits. Place the stevia leaves in and around the fruit for decoration. - 8/30/2012 4:08:50 PM
  • I like to make my own pita chips from the whole wheat pita bread one can purchase at Trader Joe's. They're 100% whole wheat with no additives, preservatives or sugar. It's easy and tasty! Here's how:

    Cut the pita bread rounds in half. Separate top from bottom. Cut each half into 3 slices (Pie shaped). Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet, smooth side down. Brush the rough side lightly with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle lightly with seasalt. Bake 4 minutes at 400 degrees. Flip them over and bake another 4 minutes. Crunchy and everyone loves them! - 2/3/2012 7:21:25 PM
  • ANNEV2012
    Better than all of these suggestions...wat
    ch at least half the game from your treadmill or exercise bike, then indulge a little!!! - 2/3/2012 10:40:41 AM
  • A great low fat onion dip.. Low fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion.. warm cream cheese to room temperature add onion, slowly add warm water and mix, add warm water till you get it the thickness you desire, Our family uses it with veggies, pretzels, baked chips, flatbread crackers.. - 2/3/2012 8:55:36 AM
  • I'll have to try to find some whole wheat pretzels some time.

    Check out my recent blog post for some healthy recipes for Super Bowl Sunday!

    http://health4l
    ifekc.blogspo
    t.com/2012/01
    /super-bowl-p
    arty-snack-ideas.html - 2/3/2012 8:24:57 AM
  • when i make dip i use fat free plain yogurt and soup mix and i dip baby carrots and celery sticks i also like to use hummus for dipping i like it with chicken and pita bread - 2/3/2012 7:51:56 AM
  • Yes, I think it's supposed to say "boost fiber." - 2/3/2012 7:40:24 AM
  • "Boost" nutrition is what I have to think was the intended idea. It obviously cuts fat and calories :) I puree garbanzos (inspired by hummus) and put that in dips in place of half the creamy or fatty ingredients and it's wonderful.
    - 2/3/2012 7:37:00 AM
  • "Swap puréed white beans for half the mayo in creamy dips to boost calories and cut fat."

    Is this supposed to say "boost?" Mayo usually seems to have more than enough calories. Am guessing it should be "cut" instead... - 2/3/2012 2:30:52 AM
  • I recently discovered greek yogurt as a substitute in dips. I find it is a yummy replacement for sour cream with the same tang but less fat. - 1/5/2012 12:02:16 PM
  • Awesome dip.. low on calories. easy to make..
    16 oz package low fat cream cheese 1/2 small onion diced very fine.. water
    bring cream cheese to room temperature.. add onion.. mix well.. add warm water till it gets to the dip consistency you like.. - 11/16/2011 2:42:56 PM

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