Holiday Entertaining

Holiday Entertaining

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

The holidays bring an abundance of joy through family gatherings, gift exchanges and of course sweet treats!  As you buckle your chinstrap to brave the grocery store this week remember to plan, plan, plan – this will make your shopping trip easier and less stressful.

If you’re entertaining, plan ahead with festive appetizers and finger foods to keep everyone party ready!

Have a mix of indulgent foods such as puff pastry tarts and baked cheese dips with healthier options such as shrimp cocktail or cheese and fruit so that everyone can partake in the festivity of the holiday.

Personally, I love Charcuterie boards – this is an easy way to coordinate a variety of finger foods in one central location that is both visually appealing and delicious.

Build a better board by combining sweet and savory foods that have a balance of nutritious and flavor forward ingredients.

So grab your favorite board and let’s start building!

Basic Equipment:

  • Cutting board, choose a size that will hold all of your ingredients without to much left over space.
  • Cheese knife
  • Small bowls for nuts, olives or spreads
  • Toothpicks

Meats & Cheeses:

Soft and lower fat cheese like mozzarella combined with a saltier cheese like provolone or gouda.

Combine saltier meats like prosciutto and salami with a lighter low sodium ham.

Tip: Serve at room temperature for the best flavor.

Fresh fruits & veggies:

Grapes, strawberries and figs add nutrients and freshness. Dried fruits like apricots and raisons add some more sweetness and different texture.

Get some crunch from carrots, cucumbers, radishes and sliced bell peppers.

Breads & Crackers

Crunchy pita Stacy’s chips and Ritz crackers make the perfect vehicle for your ingredients.

I also like to have a bread basket nearby for anyone that wants a sandwich type experience.


Olives, pickles, cherry peppers, marinated artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and fig spreads will elevate your board with additional sweet & salty flavors.  

Charcuterie Board

Holiday Charcuterie Snack Board

Prep: 15 minutes

Makes: 6 to 8 servings



  • Stacey’s Pita Chips – any variety
  • Whole Wheat Ritz crackers


  • 8 ounces BelGioioso Fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 ounces Smoked Gouda Cheese
  • 4 ounces Stella provolone


  • ½ pound Hormel Salami
  • ¼ pound low sodium ham
  • ¼ pound pepper cracked turkey

Fruits & Veggies:

  • Handful dried fruit
  • 1 cup sliced carrots or bell peppers
  • 1 cup pitted olives
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 1 cup seedless grapes


  • Spreads: Whole grain Mustard, Fig spread
  • 1 container Esti Hummus
  • Fresh rosemary for visual interest

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN