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charcuterie board

 A charcuterie board can make any occasion seem more festive. A well-arranged platter overflowing with bite-sized treats can make the most mundane dinner feel like a party. And if you plan it right, you don’t even have to turn on the oven to enjoy a well-balanced, healthy snack or meal.

Here are five tips to help you put together a healthy charcuterie board for home at the dinner table or party buffet line.


Tip 1: Plan Ahead 

Planning is key to putting together a healthy charcuterie board. All too often, they feature a wide array of processed meats and full-fat cheeses. Add in crackers and a dip or two and you’ve got a meal loaded with saturated fat, sugar and sodium. But with a bit of thought and prep work, you can build a charcuterie board that's good for you.

Create a board with a well-balanced array of bite-sized proteins, produce and low-fat cheeses, spreads or dips. Read the labels on your food’s packaging and choose low-sodium versions with limited additives and preservatives. Watch for added sugar, sodium and fat, which are all too easy to find in many pre-packaged foods and delicatessen meats.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy platter or board. A cookie sheet or large dinner plate works just fine. Be creative and keep it simple.


Tip 2: Use Whole-Grain Crackers and Breads 

Choose whole-grain crackers and bread to load up on fiber, protein and Vitamin B. Look for varieties with seeds and nuts for added nutrition, flavor and texture. Healthy choices include whole-wheat pita wedges or pretzels, thin or woven wheat crackers, brown rice cakes and seed-based crackers. Try parmesan or cauliflower crips to avoid carb-heavy alternatives altogether.


Tip 3: Include Lots of Fruits and Veggies 

Fill your board with fruits and vegetables to keep it light and healthy while adding color and crunch. The choices are endless. Nearly any vegetable can be sliced and served up raw with a side of healthy dip. Fresh fruit is both tasty and healthy. And it looks good on the platter if you slice it thinly and fan it out in an attractive display. Keep the sizes similar to keep it easy to arrange and even easier to eat. 


Tip 4: Go Nuts 

Nuts are a great source of plant-based protein. They contain plenty of healthy fat and limited amounts of unhealthy saturated fats. Choose nuts that have low or no added sodium and no added unhealthy oils.


Tip 5: Combine Carbs and Proteins

Get satisfied faster and feel full longer by pairing proteins with healthy carbohydrates. Try apple slices with natural (no added sugar) nut butter for dip or whole-grain crackers with turkey. Berries and yogurt, hummus and pita bread or a baguette with fresh, low-sodium tapenade won’t totally disregard your healthy eating goals.


Call (866) MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362) to find a Catholic Health physician near you. Get more information about the services available at Catholic Health.

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