Throwing together some appetizers that your kids will enjoy can be easy, but making them healthy is always a challenge. GI, or glycemic index, refers to the amount by which a food makes your blood sugar rise immediately after eating it. Eating too many foods high on the glycemic index, which causes quick spikes in blood sugar, can cause obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Combining low-GI and low-fat foods can result in some some delicious appetizers that your kids will enjoy.
Breads that contain whole grains are low on the glycemic index. Make low-fat and low-GI bruschetta as an appetizer. Simply combine tomatoes, onions, basil and a touch of olive oil on whole-grain or flaxseed bread. Pumpernickel and sourdough rye are also low on the glycemic index; make a spinach dip using spinach and light ranch dressing, yogurt or sour cream. Cut up one of these breads and serve with carrot sticks to dip.
Fruits and Vegetables
Broccoli, mushrooms and red peppers all have a very low GI. Chop them up and serve with a light creamy salad dressing or dip. Stuff cherry tomatoes with low-fat cream cheese and top with some nuts for a bite-sized appetizer that is healthy all around. A fruit plate makes a great and delicious appetizer. Fruits that are lowest on the glycemic index include cherries, plums, grapefruit and peaches. Finally, a caprese salad makes a great veggie appetizer. Slice tomatoes and layer with low-fat buffalo mozzarella and basil. Top with balsamic vinegar.
Pasta and Grains
Spaghetti, both white and whole wheat, is low on the GI. Mix with cucumber, peppers and some light peanut butter for a delicious salad that works as an appetizer. Yams and sweet potatoes also do not cause sharp spikes in blood sugar. Serve yam pancakes with mango chutney as an appetizer. Try making sushi appetizers with brown rice instead of white. Make with cucumber, sweet potato or zucchini for a delicious appetizer that your kids will find fun to eat with chop sticks.
Fortunately, most beans are low on the glycemic index. Any kind of hummus made with chick peas is a great low GI appetizer. Lower fat content by using less oil than is recommended in any recipe. Red lentils are particularly low on the index. Make them into patties, saute until crispy and serve with light or fat-free ranch dressing. Black beans and white beans also make great dips. Combine with garlic, pepper and other spices in a food processor. Serve with carrot sticks or whole grain crackers.
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