These trends foster sound nutrition habits and make healthful eating easy.
Chinese dim sum, Greek meze, or traditional American appetizers, all have one thing in common: They offer sensible portions of flavorful food. And more people are sampling them. The number of diners ordering appetizer-sized foods has grown by 12 percent in two years, accordingto the National Restaurant Association.</P><P>"Small plates are a great way to explore different cuisines and broaden your palate," says Fern Gale Estrow, M.S., R.D., a nutritionist based in New York City. "They are also an excellent way to increase your diet's variety and recalibrate your sense of proper serving sizes," Estrow says. </P><P> We asked <I>Cooking Light</I>'s registered dietitians, Mary Creel and Kathy Kitchens, to identify some of the healthiest food choices for each small-plate style. </P><P>Antipasti or Cicchetti: tuna carpaccio, olives, roasted marinated vegetables, and bruschetta or bread with olive oil or marinara </P><P>Dim Sum: steamed dumplings and spring rolls, summer rolls, pot stickers, and lean roasted meats </P><P> Meze: grape leaves stuffed with rice and vegetables, hummus or baba ghanoush with pita bread, and couscous salad </P><P> Tapas: gazpacho, steamed mussels, grilled flatbread with roasted vegetables, and spiced lentils </P><P> Traditional American: shrimp cocktail, veggie quesadillas, and broth-based soups </P><P> More Nutrition Advice:<br> <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking/hl/nutrition/article/0,13803,1094736,00.html" target="_blank">5 Healthiest Habits on the Planet</a><br> <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking/hl/nutrition/package/0,14343,1092456,00.html" target="_blank">All-Star Foods That Fight for Health</a><br> <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking/hl/nutrition/article/0,13803,1019158,00.html" target="_blank">Tips for a Better Diet</a><br> <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking/hl/nutrition/package/0,14343,1115138,00.html" target="_blank">Dish Up Whole Grains</a></P>