The dish on your favorite holiday appetizers

By Beth Cecil
Owensboro Health Healthpark dietitian

I was at a Christmas party the other night and as I started to take a bite of a sausage ball someone jokingly threatened to take my picture. They had caught the dietitian “red handed”, indulging in a calorie and fat laden, but none the less delicious appetizer. 

We all laughed, but I quickly gave my usual response, which is that all foods can fit into a healthy diet.  Just stay within your calorie budget and of course remember the key, which is eating in moderation. 

This reminded me that no matter where I am, I seem to be held to a higher and healthier standard when it comes to eating. 

This is fine, as I do try to practice what I preach. However, I am human too. Plus, I love appetizers and finger foods like sausage balls, spinach dip, and cheese cubes. I love fruit, veggies and shrimp too. (Why didn’t anyone take notice the other night when I was eating the shrimp and cauliflower?)

We had a good time with this, so this week here is a little holiday fun for you too. Test your knowledge with this little holiday party quiz.

APPETIZER QUIZ (scroll down for the answers)

1. Which appetizer is the lowest in fat?

a. one sausage ball
b. one chicken wing
c. one mini Quiche

2. Which cookie contains the most calories?

a. One medium gingerbread cookie
b. One medium no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookie
c. One medium chocolate chip cookie

3. Which dip contains the most calories and fat?

a. Mexican Cheese dip with sausage
b. Spinach dip ( with mayo and sour cream)
c. Spinach and Artichoke Dip

4. Which cocktail contains the most calories?

a. A martini
b. 12 ounces regular beer
c. Rum and coke

5. Which piece of candy has the fewest calories?

a. One-ounce piece of peppermint bark
b. One-ounce piece of peanut brittle
c. One ounce of fudge with nuts


  1. a. Sausage ball. Believe it or not, per serving, the sausage ball is the lowest in fat with 3.6 calories each (and 56 calories). One chicken wing contains 6.3 grams of fat (and 94 calories) and each mini quiche contains 4 grams of fat (and 60 calories).
  2. b. The medium no-bake oatmeal chocolate cookie contains 123 calories, the gingerbread man has 64 calories and one medium chocolate chip cookie contains 50 calories.
  3. c. The spinach and artichoke dip, even with the vegetables, is actually the highest in both calories and fat with 100 calories and 9 grams of fat for a 2 Tablespoon serving. Two tablespoons of Mexican cheese dip contains 98 calories and 7.8 grams of fat and 2 tablespoons of spinach dip contains 54 calories and 4 grams of fat. This does not include whatever you choose to eat with these dips such as chips, crackers, or bread, which of course adds calories too.
  4. a. The martini is the highest in calories . This actually surprised me. One martini contains about 160 calories. The regular 12 ounce beer has 140 calories and the rum and coke contains 154 calories. (A light beer on the average has 110 calories per 12 ounce serving and rum and diet would contain about 100 calories.) Remember the importance of moderation when it comes to alcohol consumption. This is defined as up to one drink day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
  5. b. Peanut brittle  is the lowest in calories at 138 per piece. One piece of fudge with nuts contains 145 calories and the peppermint bark has 150 calories per piece.

   I hope you have a very joyous holiday season!!