Finger foods are a hit for parties, business lunches, celebrations, social events, catering events, get-togethers, and similar functions. Those bite-sized treats can be scrumptious and can leave you wanting more.
Would you like to get some healthy finger food treats and ideas? Say no more; we´ve got you covered.
This post dives into creative ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your finger food platters without sacrificing taste.
Providing something that´s big on taste and wonderful for your immune system is a win-win.
What are finger foods?
Finger foods are classified as small individual portions of food that are portable and easy to handle and can be eaten out of your hands without the use of cutlery. The ideal finger food is quick and easy, makes little to no mess, and can be eaten on the go or standing.
Finger foods have a fascinating history and have changed over the years into what we know now. Nonetheless, the concept has remained the same, and they are a big hit for occasions such as Superbowl parties.
Finger foods originated in France in the late 18th century and were initially called canapes (thin slices of toasted bread covered with different savory toppings). It was convenient for people to take bite-sized canapes in a crowded room/gathering to socialize and munch on finger foods.
It limited the stress of serving the main course meal to a large gathering. Finger foods grew in popularity simultaneously around the time of cocktail parties.
At the inception of the American Prohibition laws, drinking was forbidden. Many people took their drinking habits underground. Bars and taverns were shut down, but that didn´t deter some people. They organized speakeasies (secret drinking places) mostly located in the basements and homes of people willing to offer drinking services to others.
Some speakeasies didn´t want their patrons to look drunk and draw unwanted attention to them, so they offered finger foods to their patrons throughout the night. The small bites could be held in one hand and a drink in the other while guests socialized.
Solution for picky eaters
Preparing and planning meals for picky eaters can be a headache. The pickier the person; the bigger the headache. Certain groups fall into the picky eater category; they include children, unhealthy eaters, and the elderly.
Have you ever met a child who would rather remain hungry than eat something they would prefer not to? Sometimes they never even tried the food but had it black-listed on sight!
Perhaps it was too light or too dark, too intimidating or unappealing? Who knows the rationale behind this? Once they made up their minds pressuring them to eat it will make most parents lose the war!
Do you know of anyone whose parents demanded that they eat something, but they had already made up their minds that they wouldn´t eat it? How did that turn out?
The parents spoke to them more sternly and insisted that they eat it and that; they wouldn´t leave the table until they ate it. If they were strong-willed, they fell asleep at that table without eating it!
Such unpleasant situations were very common back then. Even today, many adults still remember this childhood experience.
Have you ever met an unhealthy eater? This person´s body can tolerate high levels of junk foods and fast foods. They eat them problem-free. But goodness forbids; if you try to give them anything healthy, it’s game over.
Many unhealthy eaters tend to be pleasure eaters. They live to eat and not eat to live! The more sugar, salt, and fat the foods have the better it is for them. Vibrant colors are also not in their repertoire. Their foods have a bland look, with not much, from mother nature to brighten up their meals. Do not offend them by giving them a salad, fruit, or vegetables.
Aging can bring with it many daunting changes. Physicians, nurses, professional caregivers, and those who take care of elderly family members know this pain only too well. The elderly are at high risk of malnutrition. According to a 2020 publication by NIH, some studies were carried out in a few Dutch (Netherlands) retirement home care facilities with elderly people suffering from dementia.
The goal was to introduce more finger foods consisting of mostly fruit and vegetables and make them readily available to the residents for six weeks. The staff took detailed reports and measured the food daily. After six weeks, the results were that the patients increased their fruit and vegetable daily intake by 70g.
The benefits of fruit and vegetable platters are they are easy and quick to prepare. They are very versatile, and you can add as many colors, textures, consistencies, and kinds as you want. They are a great choice for gatherings with vegan or vegetarian family members, friends, and co-workers.
Fruits and vegetables are low in fat; you can eat as many servings without feeling guilty about having too many calories. They are great for any occasion.
There are many benefits of eating healthy finger foods:
- increase fruit and vegetable intake
- possibility of eating the recommended daily serving from the base of the food pyramid (vegetables and fruits)
- simple to prepare- does not require a lot of time
- increase in fiber
- low-calorie low fat
- maintain good health
- strengthen your immune system
- protects against cancer and other chronic diseases
Fruits and vegetables
Fruit and vegetable platter ideas
Chopped carrots, celery sticks with lightly steamed broccoli/cauliflower, and tomato with a dip of your choice.
Chopped watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, black and green grapes, and pineapple kebabs.
Sliced cucumber with sour cream and sliced tomato with seasoning on top.
Sweet potato crostini (sliced and baked with toppings) cream cheese, and cranberries.
Grapes, pineapple, olives, cantaloupe, and cheese kebabs.
Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and pineapple kebabs.
Artichoke, tomatoes, olives, kale.
Meat platters can add richness to your meals. It´s a great source of protein. In any gathering, there is bound to be a meat lover. Meat consumption in moderation can increase your metabolic rate along with many other benefits such as:
- make you feel full
- reduce hunger
- muscle mass retention
- helps in keeping your bones strong
- better iron absorption
Although meat has many benefits, eating too much can pose a danger to your health, such as increasing your risk of certain cancers. It is recommended to eat two meat dishes a week.
You also have to be careful with some sorts of meat as they have to be kept; at a certain temperature. You may need to refrigerate surplus foods to be safe when guests are no longer eating them.
Some finger food meat platter ideas:
- Chicken meatballs
- Mini meatballs
- Chicken wings
- Beef and chicken kebabs.
Mother nature has blessed us with nature´s finest, commonly known as fruits and vegetables. They are filled with many nutrients our body needs to function. Most of our meals should come from fruits and vegetables. There are many health benefits associated with eating healthy meals.
Offering healthy food platters at parties, social events, gatherings, and get-togethers takes the stress out of worrying about your guests’ diet plans. Fruit and vegetables are versatile and can accommodate most diets. It is especially great for vegans and vegetarians.
They are easy to prepare and store, and you can rest assured that you´re offering your guests something delicious and nutritious to eat!
Go ahead and whip up some healthy finger foods now!
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2 thoughts on “Healthy Finger foods”
I love finger food and it is such a great way to include variety and add vitamins and minerals to your diet. It was interesting to see that finger food actually originated in France from canapés. Putting down a platter of carrot sticks and cucumber slices in front of my kids was always a good way to get them to eat healthy snacks.
A plate of finger food is often my favorite way of having snacks with a drink and it can be very beneficial. Thank you for sharing this great healthy option.
Thank you, Line, for sharing your thoughts with us. Yes, vegetable and fruit finger foods are high in variety and nutrition. There really is something for everyone with vegetable and fruit platters.
As you´ve proven for yourself; healthy snacks can be a great hit with children. If you put it out or even make it presentable, they will eat it. This is a good way, to encourage children to develop healthy habits right from the start.