In my apartment, we have 3 seasons—winter, spring, summer and FOOTBALL. As much as I argue that baseball season is still very much happening, we have made a transition to every Saturday and Sunday being booked out as “football game time”. I do believe I heard my fiancé actually say “Hun, you’re a widow for the next 16 weeks” and between fantasy football, college football and the NFL, I can feel the love.
Football season is in a league of its own for hanging out, food and fun. It’s a great opportunity to see friends, yell at the tv, and eat grub that is typically ‘off limits’ during the week. I am all for the Saturday and Sunday afternoon binge that includes snacks and the couch, but week after week, month after month, it can run up the number on the scale (wouldn’t you rather that happens for your team?!).
Food and snacks are vital component of any get together, and no one wants to be that person that brings/eats cucumber sandwiches and tofu while the rest of the table has the other meaty, cheesy and football-y goodness. It can be a challenge to be creative with your health and football snacks while keeping in mind your jersey-wearing friends.
I’m compiled some of my favorite fall football snacks that I would recommend, and many I have tried and have the approval of a hard-core football fan (My fiancé).
|Chips and dip||Baked chips and salsa||Baked chips will have less fat and calories than normal chips, and you get the same crunch and salt factor. Salsa has very few calories and vegetables that contain various vitamins and minerals.|
|Nachos with beef||Nachos with beans, pico de gallo, and light cheese||Both beef and beans contain filling protein, but beans will contain less calories and fat than beef. By adding store bought or homemade pico de gallo, you get a flavor boost and vegetables that will jazz up your plate. Lastly, by using light cheese, you will slash calories and fat without losing flavor.|
|Cream/Cheese-based dips||Veggies and dill dip||Vegetables and dill dip automatically makes me feel healthier when I eat them. You get all the good nutrients of the vegetables, and you can make dill dip with low fat sour cream, mayo or even greek yogurt!|
|Chili with beef||Chili with chicken and beans||Chili is a super-football food. It’s filling, and you can jazz it up with spices, vegetables, and low fat/cholesterol chicken instead of beef. Add beans for a hearty-factor and extra protein and fiber.|
|Buffalo Chicken||Buffalo Cauliflower||Before you roll your eyes, this is tried and true by my fiancé (total meat guy), friends and me and it is a total win! You get the crunch of the crust, the kick of heat from the hot sauce, and a texture from the cauliflower that mimics chicken. Although cauliflower lacks the protein that chicken does, it has less calories and no cholesterol, and you can feel good about eating a whole heap!*If this is still a crazy concept to you, bake your chicken wings instead of frying for less fat and an increased health factor.|
|French Fries||Baked Potato||Baked potatoes have a bunch of great vitamins and minerals, and the sky is the limit for adding toppings. By trying broccoli, salsa, low fat sour cream, greek yogurt and chives you have yourself a great side dish or meal that will leave you feeling satisfied. (*Just be aware of butter, cheese and bacon that can be calorie bombs!)|
|Brownies||Fruit and dip||Brownies are delicious, but can pack a punch to the gut with the fat and calories. Try fruit (kabobs anyone?!) and a fun, low sugar dip made with greek yogurt or fat free pudding for that added sweetness. (Pinterest!)|
|Sugar cookies with frosting||Fruit pizza||This one is a bit of a stretch, but when we add fruit to anything it makes it healthy, right? I wish J Roll out the sugar cookies thin, and use minimal topping (think low fat or fat free), and load those bad boys with a bunch of fruit for a few more vitamins and nutrients.|
|Ice cream||Frozen yogurt/gelato||I don’t need an excuse for ice cream, but if it is being served at a party/football get together, you can save on calories and fat by switching to frozen yogurt or gelato with little to miss!|
This time of year is great for sports, but can be a tricky time if you are watching what you are eating. Be creative with your meals, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Your health matters and it is ok to branch out! What are some of your ideas for swapping out food at football parties?
Until next time!