It is not uncommon to order a light appetizer prior to a meal.  It is also not uncommon to have small plates of food with drinks after work. For many, appetizers and Hors d’oeuvres and used interchangeably to describe a type of food consumed prior to a larger meal.  However, did you know appetizers and Hors d’oeuvres are actually two different things?


Appetizer –> small portion of food or drink served before or at the beginning of a meal (

Hors d’oeuvres –> a small bit of food, or a preparation of chopped or creamed foods, often served on crackers or small pieces of toast along side drinks where no other food is served (

With the holiday right around the corner, gatherings are being planned in which most of them will have food. When an invitation states “heavy appetizers or hors d’oeuvres” be careful to not only the amount you consume but some of the hidden calories.

Most Calorically Dense appetizers

  1. Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers –> One plateful of these can equate to over 1,900 calories and 125 g of fat. This is the equivalent to 9 chicken enchiladas.
  2. Boneless Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese –> One order of these is almost 1,500 calories and 4,590 mg of sodium.  That is the equivalent of 2 large bags of potato chips.
  3. Stuffed Potato Skins –> Loaded potatoes – think sour cream, bacon, cheese, butter and more – is around 2,070 calories for a plateful.

Even though these foods can be incorporated into your lifestyle they are not something to indulge on a weekly basis.  Rather, try to incorporate some of these “healthier” appetizer options.

Healthier Appetizers

  1. Shishito Peppers with Miso –> Peppers are great for you as they are not only low is calories but they have anti-inflammatory properties due to their spicy/hot flavors -capsasin.
  2. Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower —> Cauliflower can withstand bold flavors/spices which have antioxidant properties.  They are also filling due to fiber and not calorically dense.
  3. Stuffed Mushrooms –> Think meaty texture meets fiber, B Vitamins and antioxidant selenium with all the yummy fixen’s  inside!

Holidays are a time to be with family but it is easy to forget about what you are consuming when you are around so much food. The key is to not deprive yourself but to be conscious of what and how much you are consuming.