Healthy Food Ideas for Tailgating
Football season is upon us once again, and that means tailgating, concession stands and football game get-togethers. Most often these activities come with high-calorie, high-fat foods and beverages that can sabotage healthy diets. Obviously, for health and calorie reasons, it is best to eat before you go to a game, but realistically speaking, here are some tips if you are going to eat at the game or party:
- If eating at a game, here are some healthier snack options - small popcorn or a pretzel with cheese. And here are a few high calorie foods to limit - brats, sausages, fries, large nachos, nuts and high-calorie alcoholic drinks.
- At the tailgate, you have some control over the food choices so try and pack some leaner meats such as chicken breasts, turkey or sirloin burgers and chicken sausages with low calorie/whole wheat buns. You can add some lower fat/calorie side items such as baked chips. Healthier side items could also include fruit or side salads. Experiment with healthier dips made with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or mayo, or try this sun dried tomato dip. Pair with pita or whole grain chips or crackers.
- If you are going out to a bar or restaurant, look out for high-fat, fried appetizers. The lowest calorie apps are grilled shrimp or brushetta. For your main meal, try and order a grilled chicken wrap or turkey club sandwich (minus the mayo!) and limit your fry intake. If pizza is being served, try and order veggie or cheese and blot the top of the pizza with a napkin to save some of the fat calories.
And finally, try and limit your alcohol/soda intake as these beverages are high in calories and can really add up. The best advice is to drink a cup or bottle of water in between alcoholic drinks to stay hydrated.
By Kelly Devine Rickert, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
Registered Dietitian, Health Coach, Franciscan WELLCARE