The Big Game is just a few short weeks away! For many of us, that means not only football, but plenty of (possibly not-so-healthy) food too. This can be pretty intimidating for those on track for a healthier 2019. But it doesn’t have to be! Whether you’re hosting, or attending a party elsewhere, check out our list of healthier game day eats to serve or bring.
DIY Cheese Plate. Include a variety of flavorful cheeses, choosing low-fat varieties when able. Instead of highly-processed, high-fat meats like salami or prosciutto, roll up some leaner options like turkey slices or homemade spicy buffalo chicken. And while cheese plates traditionally highlight the proteins, don’t be afraid to branch out a bit. Try adding things like crunchy roasted chickpeas, roasted red peppers, fresh fruit, pickles, and cut fresh vegetables to round out your snack selections.
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. Because nothing says “football” like spicy, messy, finger food! To prepare, first preheat your oven to 450 degrees and coat a baking pan with non-stick spray. In a bowl, combine ½ cup hot sauce with a bit of melted butter (no more than a tablespoon), and seasonings like garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Wash and chop a medium head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Combine the cauliflower and the sauce mixture in a large zip-top bag, seal, and shake until florets are well coated. Then spread them on the pan in a single layer, leaving some space between for extra crispiness! Roast for about 20 minutes, turning as needed. Serve with celery sticks, and some light dressing (for those who want a little less heat!).
Chili. This cold-weather favorite makes its way onto many football menus, and can be a great choice for those looking for a healthier meal. When making it yourself, opt for lighter protein choices like lean ground beef or turkey (look for at least 90% lean). Add in some high-fiber, protein-packed beans or lentils, along with plenty of veggies like onions, peppers, or diced tomatoes. While chili itself can be a great choice, be careful with rich toppings like sour cream and cheese. If you can’t do without the fixins’, opt for low-fat varieties of sour cream and cheese, or even plain Greek yogurt instead (for some bonus protein!).
Taco Bar. Because who doesn’t love tacos? This favorite finger-food is so versatile that it’s easy to please everyone while also keeping it healthy. As with chili, choose the leanest ground meat you can find, or even shred some seasoned chicken breast for a fun spin. While traditional hard taco shells are indeed whole grain, you can also opt for soft corn or whole wheat flour tortillas, use a firm lettuce, or nix the shell altogether and build a taco salad. Make sure to include plenty of veggies to top your tacos like shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes, corn, and diced peppers. And lastly, keep your fixins’ light with low-fat cheese or sour cream, a bit of guacamole, salsa, or hot sauce.
Now that you’re ready with some fun, healthy eats, be mindful of what you’re drinking. Alcohol can contribute hundreds of extra calories to your day and make it harder to stick with smart food choices. So, if you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation, and be sure to drink plenty of water! Happy Game Day!