Food & Nutrition

How to entertain the healthy way

Summer is a great time for celebrations with family and friends. Here are some helpful tips for healthy entertaining.
Published 26 December 2018

Healthier party ideas

With an abundance of stunning summer produce and balmy evenings around the corner, here’s how to enjoy entertaining and stay on track.

Dips and starters

Chips and fried canapés can quickly use up your budget, so serve your guests lighter alternatives instead. Take time to source high-quality ingredients – especially wholefoods – dial up your food styling and create ambience with table settings, candles, and fairy lights.

Focus on fruit

Fruits curb hunger the healthy way. Try skewers of watermelon cubes, reduced-fat feta squares, and fresh basil leaves. Watermelon is rich in lycopene antioxidants, which are studied for a potential role in protecting skin from sun damage.

Go single serves

Research by Dr. Brian Wansink shows buffet-style spreads may lead to overeating. Serve individual portions compared to large bowls and platters. Try mini bowls of spicy tomato gazpacho or Asian chicken and slaw salad.

Splurge differently

Instead of rich, creamy foods, offer gourmet seafood goodies. Most people appreciate seafood like prawns or Moreton Bay bugs, and if you manage portions, it’s not as expensive as you think. Choose produce such as oysters and serve with nam jim dressing and lime wedges.


If you’re going to a barbecue, take a dish or plate that’s program-friendly. If you’re the host, smart menu planning will help reduce the likelihood of abundant food.

Signature salads

When guests ask what to bring, answer with, “Your signature salad, please!” If the table’s full of salads you’ll have greater manage over the protein, as well as the starters and desserts.

Sneak in a serve of veg

Add extra veggies to the grill like corncobs with Mexican spice or asparagus spears with lemon and pepper.

Go single serves

Cater to individual fillets of fish or lean meat for each guest rather than sausages. Add mustard, horseradish and tomato relish to the table.


Sweets and desserts can be tricky, as there are so many higher Point dishes that spring to mind at this time of year. But all it takes is some clever modification and fresh ideas.

Twist tradition

If you’re known for the best pavlova in town, you can tweak your recipe and keep your guests satisfied. Switch cream with 99% fat-free plain yoghurt, and top with naturally sweet sliced mango cheeks (rich in vitamins A and C).

Go single serves

Portion out desserts into individual ramekins so there are no seconds or leftovers. Try summer puddings in mini moulds.

Use fruit as a base

Be creative with using ZeroPoint fruits. Try strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. If your crew loves ice-cream, try 100 per cent banana fro-yo with a swirl of salted caramel and a little crumbled biscuit. Or, chargrilled figs and peaches served with honey and mascarpone.