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The 10 Best Refined Sugar-Free Party Foods

Written by

Shahna Sarpi

Posted on


It’s not uncommon to go to a party and see an assortment of refined foods and sugary sweets. From lollies, chocolates, cakes, cookies and muffins, to crisps, popcorn and processed crackers, there’s often not a lot of ‘real food’ options. Thankfully, as more people become health conscious, we’re slowly seeing this improve.

For many of us on this journey, health is a lifestyle and that means that regardless of the event, we feel better when nourishing our body with real foods. Events and parties no longer have to involve an abundance of junk and thankfully there are many real food options and healthier alternatives that we can enjoy as party food.

So, whether you’re throwing a party or looking for something delicious to take along to one, save yourself the blood sugar spike and prevent the kids from going on a sugar high by opting for some of the best sugar-free party foods available. We’ve compiled a list of 10 healthier options for you to choose from:

Dark Chocolate

Let’s be honest, it’s not a party without some chocolate in the mix. When opting for healthier party foods, we don’t have to ditch chocolate completely. Instead, we can choose one that uses a less refined sugar and has a lower percentage of it. This is where dark chocolate comes in! Choosing a dark chocolate that is 75% cacao or higher is a great way to go. This means that the absolute maximum sugar content would be 25%, and if we can go for an option that uses a more whole food sweetener that’s even better. Some of the less processed sugars that we prefer seeing on the ingredients list include coconut sugar, raw sugar, rapadura sugar, etc. It can also be helpful to know that raw sugar and brown sugar are quite different. Brown sugar is actually white sugar that has been coated in molasses, while raw sugar is the less processed version. Remember that generally the less processed something is, the better.

Speaking of chocolate, we loving taking this dark chocolate from Benetto along to parties:

Benetto Organic Dark Chocolate - Intense Dark


Ingredients: Cocoa beans, raw cane sugar, cocoa butter, Madagascar vanilla beans.

Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M.


I love how yummy healthy chocolate has become. This Bennetto chocolate is absolutely stunning in taste and the brand is a brand, I personally love to support. They care about making the world a better place, they support local farmers and use organic ingredients.

I personally aim to consume less than 10 ingredients in packaged products and recommend my clients do the same. This Bennetto Organic Dark Chocolate Intense Dark only has 4 ingredients so ticks that box. Be mindful that the 2nd ingredient in this chocolate is Raw Cane Sugar, making it higher in sugar than some of its chocolate friends. Per serving it is 4.8g of sugar, but good luck stoping at the serving size. All the other ingredients get a gold star from me.


Popcorn is a great party food because it’s easy to share, satisfies cravings for something salty and is always a hit with the guests. When choosing popcorn, we recommend going for one thats been cooked in coconut oil, olive oil, ghee or butter. These are healthier forms of fat to cook with and are better options than the inflammatory vegetable oils often used in conventional popcorn. Another great thing about popcorn is that it tends to be sugar free. Yes, you can get sweet and salty popcorn that contradicts that, but there’s also plenty of opportunity to bring in a savoury snack via a simple salted popcorn.

Take a look at these examples of a healthier popcorn from Serious Foods:

Serious Food Serious Popcorn - Sea Salt


Ingredients: Popcorn*(78%), coconut oil*, sea salt (2%)

Serious Food Serious Popcorn - Real Butter


Ingredients: Popcorn*(77%), ghee* (clarified butter) (22%), sea salt. *Certified Organic.


Most parties will have some sort of a platter, generally with cheese, dips and crackers, but did you know that many of the supermarket crackers are highly refined, while some even have added sugar? Rather than skipping the crackers and only having veggie sticks, we can incorporate some healthier cracker options too. The criteria for a healthier cracker is that it’s less refined and contains whole grains. They may also have added seeds or other nutrient dense ingredients that make them more filling and nutritionally balanced. Serve the crackers alongside a good quality cheese or some delicious homemade dips.

Here are a few of the healthier, sugar-free, crackers we recommend:

Ceres Organics BBQ Crackers


There’s no goofy party hat, miniature cards or dad jokes inside this cracker... packet. But rip it open & you’ll uncover something even better - light & crispy, tasty Brown Rice Crackers! Made with organically & sustainably grown ingredients, they’re helping shape our world (& our tummies) for the better. One delicious bite at a time.

Mary’s Gone Crackers - Herb Crackers


Ingredients: Organic whole grain brown rice, organic whole grain quinoa, organic brown flax seeds, organic brown sesame seeds, filtered water, organic garlic, organic herbs, sea salt, organic wheat-free tamari (water, organic whole soybeans, salt, organic vinegar).

Nutritionist Review: By Shahna S.


Some of the best gluten free crackers on the market, Mary's Gone Crackers are something we should all try. This Herb Cracker option combines the nutritious seeds and grains that Mary's Crackers are known for, with some organic herbs to take the flavour up a notch. Made purely of real food ingredients, with no preservatives, Mary's Crackers are a great staple to have in the pantry. Add them to your antipasto platter or enjoy them as part of your snack.

Loka Lupin Rosemary & Sea Salt Crackers


Ingredients: Lupin Flour (41%), Coconut Oil, Chia Seeds, Sea Salt (2%), baking Powder, Xanthan Gum, Dried Rosemary (1%).

Ceres Organics Brown Rice Crackers - Salt & Vinegar


Ingredients: Jasmine Brown Rice* 92%, Sunflower Oil*, Rice Wine Vinegar* 1.8%, Natural Sea Salt 1.2%

Non-Alcoholic Mixed Drinks

Regardless of what kind of party you’re going to or throwing, there’s likely to be some sort of drinks involved. At a typical party, this could be mixed alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic options, soft drinks or even cordial. Unfortunately, many of these common party drinks contain added sugars and in some cases, artificial colours and flavours.

A healthier option that we’ve been loving is non-alcoholic mixed drinks. They’re suitable whether or not it’s a party that involves alcohol and they can often taste like a soft drink. There are plenty of healthier non-alcoholic mixed drinks coming to the market and we’re loving seeing many refined sugar-free options. Check out a couple of the non-alcoholic drinks from the Naked Life range for some inspiration:

Altina Drinks La Vie En Rose


Everyone loves a glass of rose at a party, but what about if you’re not drinking alcohol and don’t want a sugar packed option? Altina Drinks have the answer with their La Vie En Rose. This alcohol-free rose is made up of some delicious real food ingredients and is a must try for the rose lovers. Made by air-drying and steeping botanicals like rose and hibiscus, Altina are able to extract the flavour and aromas of these flowers and infuse them into their drinks. They use no sweeteners, sugars, syrups or alcohols in the process, so you know you’re only getting the good stuff! You can enjoy this beautiful rose without the sugar high or hangover.

Yes You Can Yuze Sake


Taking non-alcoholic drinks to a party is becoming a more and more common thing. With so many amazing options and more awareness around the mindful drinking movement, we’d even say it’s trendy. We love options like the Yes You Can Yuze Sake, which don’t have all of the added sugars that some of the other more conventional non-alcoholic drinks have. If you’re a fan of citrus and want to add a bit of zest to your day, this Yuze Sake has your name on it. The mix of sweet and tart, this non-alcoholic drink is a treat for your taste buds.

Kreol Sparkling Antioxidant Infusion


Take your sparkling water to another level with the range of Sparkling Antioxidant Infusions from Kreol. These contain fruit juices and extracts so that you’re getting the nutritional benefits of these foods while enjoying their flavour. Take the Ruby Grapefruit Infusion for example, it’s packed with polyphenols from the grape seed extract and vitamin C from the Barbados cherry. In fact, it has one third of your recommended daily intake for vitamin C in each 330ml can. When drinking this at a party you can know that you’re hydrating and getting the antioxidant benefits that fight free radicals and support inner health.

Edenvale Sparkling Rose


A non-alcoholic sparkling rose that’s also refined sugar free. You’ll thank yourself the next day when you don’t have a hangover, or even a sugar hangover. This rose is the real deal, it’s simply had the alcohol removed. This means it tastes just as good as the original, but it doesn’t have the detrimental effects of alcohol (particularly if you enjoy one too many glasses). This delicious beverage contains minimal ingredients and discloses exactly what’s inside it, unlike many alcoholic drinks that don’t have to list their ingredients. It also has some added grape juice concentrate for extra flavour and benefits. It’s an easy decision to take this along as your drink of choice to the parties you attend.

Nexba Orange Soda


The terms ‘refined sugar free’ and ‘soft drink’ would not have belonged in the same sentence in the past, especially if we were looking for something that was truly a healthier option. That’s changed though and these days we can enjoy healthier fizzy drinks thanks to Nexba. These make the perfect drink to take along and enjoy at a party. Some things we love about it are that the sparkling water it contains has been purified, it contains natural colours and flavours instead of artificial ones and it’s sweetened with erythritol and stevia. These natural sweeteners don’t cause a spike in our blood sugar levels like classic sugar and they keep the sugar content of this drink at zero. You know what we’ll be sipping at the next party we go to…

Strange Love Mineral Water


Sparkling mineral water has something so satisfying about it. It allows us to hydrate while enjoying the bubbles. Many sparkling mineral waters contain artificial sweeteners in the place of sugar, which is a no-no in our books. Thankfully though, Strange Love has brought us a sugar and sweetener free sparkling mineral water that tastes delicious! It’s the perfect drink to take along to a party, or can be enjoyed when you feel like mixing it up from just plain old water. Staying hydrated is vital for optimal health and can support our energy levels, skin health, digestion, temperature regulation and so much more! All of that while sipping on some mineral water at a party? Sign us up.

Biotica Water


Biotica water combines the hydrating properties of water with the gut loving benefits of synbiotics. When it comes to gut health, hydration alone is vital for our digestion and is needed to keep everything moving through our intestinal tract. Adding synbiotics takes it to another level because synbiotics include:

  • Prebiotics, which feed the microbes in our gut and provide them with the nourishment that they need to thrive.
  • Probiotics, that are the healthy gut bacteria that help populate our gut.
  • Postbiotics, which is what’s left when our body digests prebiotics and probiotics. They can include B vitamins, vitamin K, amino acids, short-chain fatty acids and antimicrobial peptides.

Water itself is such an important element for optimal health and it is needed for countless functions within the body. Now we can use the water we drink to further support our gut and when our gut is healthy it benefits many other systems.

Naked Life Non-Alcoholic Spiced Caribbean


Ingredients: Sparkling Water, Natural Sweetener (Erythritol, Stevia), Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Flavour, Natural Botanical Distillates & Extracts, Natural Colour (Caramelised Sugar, Safflower Extract), Sodium Citrate.

Naked Life Non-Alcoholic Italian Spritz


Ingredients: Sparkling Water, Natural Sweetener (Erythritol, Stevia), Herbal Bitters Flavour, Citric Acid, Natural Flavour, Blood Orange Extract, Natural Colour (Red Radish Juice Extract, Purple Carrot Juice Extract, Safflower), Natural Botanical Distillates & Extracts.

Healthier Chips

Chips seem to make an appearance at almost every party and for many people it’s hard to go past them. We don’t have to ban or avoid chips altogether, instead we can switch them up for a healthier version. The best chips or crisps are the ones that keep it simple. Ideal ingredients are just potatoes, some type of healthy oil and sea salt. If you’re going for flavoured chips, it’s important to steer clear from those that have flavour enhancers and other additives. Opt for those that are flavoured with real foods instead - usually, the shorter the ingredients list on chips, the better.

Here are a couple of chip options we’d love to see on more tables at parties:

Boulder Canyon Avocado Oil Classic Sea Salt


Ingredients: Potatoes, Avocado Oil, Sea Salt

Proper Crisps Marlborough Sea Salt


Ingredients: Potatoes, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt.

Nutritionist Review: Malissa F.


I absolutely love a good crisp. This brand in fact is the one I usually buy when I feel like some crispy, potato goodness!

Not only are they crunchy and delicious and but also make a great serving suggestion for when you have friends around. These Proper Crisps Compostable Marlborough Sea Salt are made from Potatoes, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt which is extremely minimal for a packet of chips! Free from filler ingredients and artificial colours and flavours.

These crisps are also gluten free and vegan and a great source of fibre! A really delicious healthy chip alternative that should be shared with friends and enjoyed in moderation.

Bliss Balls and Bars

The great thing about bliss balls is that they can be packed full of nutritious ingredients, while tasting delicious and acting as a good sweet fix. Homemade bliss balls are a great option, but if you’re short on time there are plenty of healthy options that can be purchased to share. The best store-bought bliss balls are ones that contain a source of protein, healthy fats and fibre. The sweetness will ideally come from something like dates, rather than refined sugars. This slows the release of the sugar and prevents that blood sugar spike and crash.

These bliss balls are some healthy options which would work great at a party:

Mayvers Peanut Butter Bar


100% Natural Goodness. These delicious bars are super crunchy chunks of slow roasted peanuts, oats and cashews. Made with Mayvers Peanut Butter, naturally sweetened with dates and with no cane sugar, these 100% plant-powered bars are out of control when it comes to dialling up the yum!

Nutty Bruce Butter Balls - Salted Caramel


Ingredients: Dates, cashews, peanut butter (18%), coconut, raisins/sultanas, pea protein, pink salt (1%), natural caramel flavour (1%)

Nutritionist Review: By Malissa F.


Do you love an on the go snack? Often, a lot of on the go snack balls are rich in unnecessary ingredients that make them super rich in sugar and harmful chemicals. However, these Nutty Bruce balls are the exception! Made with wholesome, simple and real ingredients that are well portioned to make the ultimate energy ball. They are a great source of protein, fibre and are also vegan. A great option to keep in your bag.

Health Lab Balling Variety Pack


Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M.


Holy Moly these bliss balls are delicious. Bliss balls can be an easy snack to prepare at home. But, If you are looking for convenience these Health Lab Bliss Balls are he next best thing. The ingredients used are minimal and of a high quality. And you will find the ingredients are probably the same as what you would use at home to make your own.

Stock the pantry with this Variety Pack or find your favourite flavour.

Funch Vanilla & Coconut Protein Ball Mix


Ingredients: Almond Meal, Coconut (preservative free), Rice Flour, Pea Protein Isolate, Natural Vanilla Flavour, Puffed Amaranth

Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M.


I love the Funch Protein Ball Mix for convenience and for those who aren't great in the kitchen. They are definitely a staple in my pantry. I love to use them when I don't have time to make things from scratch, then I know I can always fall back on these. The ingredients in each mix offers amazing amounts of good fats from the almond meal and coconut and protein from the plant based pea protein isolate. Plus did I mention thy are so easy to make, you simply add dates, water and coconut oil.

Healthier Cookies

Cookies are a popular party food because they’re individually portioned, popular with most people and generally taste delicious. While ‘normal’ cookies with high amounts of refined sugars aren’t ideal party food, there are some healthier alternatives on the market that we can enjoy at a health conscious party. Healthier cookies will generally be made up of whole food ingredients and have more of a nutritional balance. There’s even some cookies that are fortified with vitamins and minerals making it to the market these days - take the Botanika Blends cookies for example. Here’s one to check out and it’s even party themed:

Botanika Blends Botanika Bickie - Birthday Cake


Ingredients: Cashew Paste, Natural Sweetener (Monk Fruit, Erythritol, Stevia), Coconut Oil, Almond Meal, Nonpareils (11%) (Sugar, Maize Starch, Maltodextrin, Natural Colours), Organic Pea Protein Isolate, Organic Maple Syrup, Coconut Flour, Organic Tapioca Flour, Natural Flavour, Psyllium Husk, Coconut Milk Powder, Organic Brown Rice Protein Isolate, Inulin, Acacia Fibre, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Natural Marine Minerals (Calcium, Magnesium), L-Glutamine, BCAAs (Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine, Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin)), Guar Gum, Probiotic Culture (Bacillus coagulans), Organic Vanilla Bean Powder, Digestive Enzymes(Protease,Amylase, Cellulase, Lactase, Lipase)


A brilliant day-to-day snack, nuts also double as an easy and nutritious party food. They’re the perfect thing to have on the table for people to pick at and are a great option to mix it up from some of the more sweet options. They certainly fit the refined-sugar free brief and can actually help stabilise our blood sugar levels thanks to the protein, healthy fats and fibre they contain.

There are plenty of nuts that you can add to your next party platter. Here are just two examples of some that are crowd pleasers:

2Die4 Activated Organic Mixed Nuts


Ingredients: Organic Almonds, Organic Walnuts, Organic Pecans, Organic Cashews, Organic Brazil Nuts, Organic Hazelnuts, Organic Pistachios, Fresh Biodynamic Whey, Filtered Water, Raw Australian Sea Salt.

2Die4 Activated Organic Tamari Almonds


Ingredients: Organic Australian Almonds, Filtered Water, Organic Tamari (Made in USA), Raw Australian Sea Salt.

Dried Fruits

Sweet and tasty, dried fruits can make a great addition to a platter or be enjoyed as a snack food alongside the other healthy options. Like with most things, not all dried fruit is created equally. Firstly, we want to make sure that the dried fruit doesn’t have any added sugars. Once that get’s the all clear, it’s important to check if any preservatives like sulphites have been added. The packet or ingredients list will tell us this, but another easy way to know if they’ve been added is the colour. For example, dried apricots should be a darker brown colour, rather than the vibrant orange we so commonly see.

Here are some healthy dried fruits to enjoy at your next party:

Dr Superfoods Certified Organic Dried Mango


Ingredients: Dried Organic Mango.

Nutritionist Review: By Shahna S.


When purchasing dried fruit, something you want to look for is that it's just that specified fruit and nothing else! This Dried Mango from Dr Superfoods definitely ticks that box, with just 100% mango that has been dried for us to consume.

Dried fruit is something that we should enjoy in moderation. Don't eat more in one sitting than you would if you were eating the whole fruit itself. 2 serves of fruit per day is the recommendation and it's important not to factor dried fruit into this too.

Dr Superfoods Dried Wild Blueberries


Ingredients: Dried Wild Blueberries, Apple Juice Concentrate, Sunflower Oil.

Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M.


When it comes to dried fruit, most are filled with preservatives to extend their shelf life. Dr Superfoods however, has no preservatives. Unlike some of the other dried fruit in the Dr Superfood range, these dried wild blueberries do contain sugar. It also does have sunflower oil which can cause some inflammation in the body but when used in small amounts is fine.

I absolutely love adding dried fruit such as theseDr Superfoods Dried Blueberries to different baking and raw treats. They are absolutely stunning sprinkled into homemade chocolate. YUM!

Seaweed Snacks

If you’re a fan of salty snacks or find yourself looking for something nice and salty amongst the spread of party foods, roasted seaweed is a great option. Similar to chips in the way they have a nice crispy texture, seaweed snacks are actually quite nutritious. Seaweed is one of the best natural sources of iodine, which is important for the health of our thyroid and supports hormonal balance. Enjoying snacks and party foods that boost our nutrient intake at the same time is always a win in our eyes.

When it comes to seaweed snacks, our favourite is the one from Gimme that uses extra-virgin olive oil:

Gimme Roasted Seaweed Snacks - Olive Oil


Ingredients: Organic Seaweed, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (43%), (Antioxidant [Tocopherols Concerntrate Mixed]) Sea Salt (3%).

As you can see, there’s no shortage of healthy and refined sugar-free party foods. What’s better than snacks that won’t leave you with a sugar hangover, while bringing some nutritional benefits to the table? Anytime you’re headed to a party or throwing your own, remember this list to help you fuel your body with real food options. We like to have some of these items stocked in the pantry for when visitors come over too. The great thing is that most of them double as healthy snacks any day of the week.

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