Tags: Living Well Eating Smart, tailgating, foods, snacks, party, nutrition

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Taking Care of You While Tailgating

It’s game time! How will you fuel your weekend tailgating in order to keep up with your team until the end? Load up on foods that will keep you going with these tips to serve up a football-party spread without sacrificing nutrition goals.

No Time to Fumble. Stay on track with your health goals even while celebrating. Any athlete can tell you the key to keeping up during the game is fueling your body to maximize performance. As your team’s biggest fan, you will want to be well fed and energized to cheer them on until the last play.

Tackle Your Football-Party Menu. Plan a versatile menu by offering a selection of food from all Food Groups that will satisfy taste buds as well as appetite. Including lean protein and fiber is a sure way to keep your stomach full and your body energized. Plant-based protein, like those found in beans, are packed with protein and fiber that can be used to bulk up recipes.  For example, spice up your party with a hearty crock of chili with beans, chunky tomatoes and peppers or add beans to soups for a meatier texture without excess saturated fat, cholesterol and calories.

Kick-Off Appetizers. For a satisfying appetizer, offer a colorful tray of crudités paired with savory hummus. The crunch you get from the fresh vegetables and the smooth creaminess of hummus, makes this a satiating snack with fewer calories and considerably less grams of fat than traditional salad dressing. Hummus can also be used as a flavorful replacement for mayonnaise on finger sandwiches or wraps.

Ready for Dessert?  Yogurt is MVP in the dessert game because it is sweet, tangy and creamy-everything a dessert should be. You can pair yogurt with any fruit, like berries, to get extra vitamins, antioxidant-acting compounds and fiber in your meal while enjoying a sweet treat. Choose your favorite nonfat yogurt and layer it with fruit like chopped pineapple to make a decadent parfait, or blend into a fruit smoothie with frozen banana. Either way, your sweet tooth will be satisfied without the use of excess added sugar, fat and calories.

Hydrate. Half-time is no time to be dehydrated. Quench your thirst throughout the celebration with calorie-free beverages like sparkling water. Adding fruit slices and fresh herbs to sparkling water is a refreshing way to customize the flavor of your drink and provide an extra hint of natural sweetness.