Do you have plans for Sunday evening to watch a certain football championship game? If you’re like most Americans, you’ll be chowing down on party snacks and beverages throughout the evening. Game day parties aren’t known for healthy options, but you can still eat smart and enjoy the big game with these snack ideas.
Fun Fruits and Veggies
Serve your favorite dips, but swap crunchy veggies for salty chips. Hummus, Black Bean and Corn Salsa, and Fresh Salsa are all easy, tasty, but still healthy dip options that pair well with vegetables to dip. Try pepper strips, carrot sticks or rounds, celery sticks, radish slices, or jicama sticks.
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to french fries, try Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries instead. Since they’re baked instead of fried, they’re lower in fat and calories. Get creative with seasoning to add some fun flavor. In honor of the New England team, try using a sprinkle of seafood seasoning (go light since it contains salt). If you’re rooting for the Los Angeles team, a sprinkle of chili powder will bring some smoky Mexican-inspired heat. You can also use the same cooking technique with white potatoes, too.
More Whole Grains
Swap out refined grain rolls, crackers, bread or tortillas for whole grain options. The extra fiber will fill you up faster and keep you satisfied longer. One of my favorite whole grains is popcorn. This recipe for Herbed Popcorn and Pretzels is a perfect game-time snack. You can use the same team-inspired seasonings above for this dish, too. Mexican Pizza is a baked version of tostadas and use whole-wheat tortillas as the base. These make a great finger food option and can be customized with your favorite toppings.
If you prefer more of a meal than just snacks for your game day celebration, check out these lean protein options. Oven Baked Chicken Nuggets are a healthy, homemade version of the kid-friendly finger food. Serve with a low-fat or low-sugar dip, like spicy mustard or low-fat ranch dressing. Quick Chili con Carne with Double Corn Bread is a healthy take on a traditional tailgating menu. Bean Enchiladas or Chicken Quesadillas are easy to prepare ahead of the game and taste great.
Skip soda and beer and serve water for a no calorie beverage. Water is the best thirst quencher and is better for your wallet and waistline. Drinking calories doesn’t make you feel as full as eating them. When you’re already indulging in a game day snack spread, save your calories for the food instead of your drinks.
Making healthy choices can be tough during celebrations. But there are many ways to modify your favorite snacks or recipes to be better for your while still tasting great. Try these recipes with your family this weekend for the big game. What are some of the snacks you usually serve for game days or other sports events? Have you made any changes to your usual recipes since learning about eating smart?