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Secrets of great finger foods

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Forget the forks!

Having a party? Cut your budget and prep time in half by ditching a sit-down dinner, and serve finger foods instead. Follow these tips for finger foods that are sure to impress.

Appetizer on plate

Mix it up

Be sure to offer your guests a variety of finger foods so there is something for everyone. Serve both hot and cold foods, as well as some with meat and a selection for vegetarians.

Hold the temperature

Hot foods are best served hot, and cold foods aren't as good when you serve them warm. Use slow cookers and hot plates to keep hot foods steaming, and serve cold finger foods over a bed of ice. Not only is this key for making sure the food tastes good, it's an important step in serving food that's safe to eat.

Fill them up

Fruits and veggies are easy to make and good to eat, but they aren't very filling. Make sure to include finger foods with meat or starchy foods to keep your guests from going hungry. Serve mini sandwiches or potato wedges -- even sushi rolled with rice.

Don't know what to make? Try these recipes! >>

Make it mini

Transform any of your favorite foods into finger foods. Make smaller versions of wraps and sandwiches, tiny tacos or single bites of spaghetti with mini meatballs. If it's delicious when it's full-sized, it'll be just as good as finger food.

Try these bite-sized versions of your favorite dishes >>

Provide utensils

It may be called finger food, but your guests probably require more than just fingers to eat it. Serve food on skewers, toothpicks or disposable forks and spoons. Also, provide small plates that will hold at least three to four pieces of food. This will allow your guests to mingle and wander the room, rather than hover over the food table.

Trash it

Keep places handy for guests to dispose of the utensils and toothpicks so they're not left holding trash with no place to put it. This doesn't mean you need to have ugly trash cans ruining your fabulous decor. Instead, place decorative cans, bowls and jars on tables for easy disposal.

Spread it out

Don't put all the finger foods out in one place. Instead, spread them out around the party so guests can grab them while they mingle.

Make it sweet

Don't forget to cater to your guests' sweet tooth. Aside from savory dishes, make sure to serve a few sweet treats. When you serve them is up to you -- bring them out with the rest of the dishes, or wait and serve them after the rest of the dishes have been devoured.

Quick TIp

Include healthy finger foods on the menu so guests on a diet don't go hungry!

Try these great finger food recipes

5 Favorite finger foods
Low carb appetizers
Bacon, lettuce and grape canapes

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