Tailgating Gone Healthy
Even if it’s still 90 degrees outside, fall is definitely on
its way because college football has started back! Here in the south, college
football is a big deal. Everybody has a team they root for. I personally went
to the University of Alabama and love watching the Crimson Tide play. But
whether you root for the Vols, the Aggies, the Tigers, or the Bulldogs, I think
we can all agree that the tailgate party is almost as important as the actual
game. And who is the biggest player at the tailgate party? The food!! Tailgates
across the nation are spread with a smorgasbord of sandwiches, meats, snacks,
beverages and desserts of all kinds. You don’t typically find a whole lot of
healthy options on these tailgate tables though and with football season lasting
until January, that can mean growing waistlines and unintended weight gain. So
how can we as dietitians fight against this? What healthy items can we bring to
the table that aren’t the cliché veggie or fruit tray? Well, I have done some
research and come up with a few options!
1) Stuffed Mini Peppers: This is a perfect sized appetizer to
bring to a tailgate party. The mini pepper “boat” provides vitamins/minerals
and has less calories than a bread based bottom but is stuffed with savory
ground beef and melted cheese that will satisfy even the manliest of men.
2) Kabobs: These can be fixed any way you want, based on
preferences and food availability. You could try chicken, mozzarella, cherry
tomatoes and basil for an Italian theme or chicken, pineapple, onion, cheese
for a Hawaiian theme! If you are vegetarian, just grill up an assortment of
veggies! Peppers, corn, onions, even eggplant!
3) Black Bean and Corn Guacamole: Every tailgate party needs a
good dip and who doesn’t love avocado these days? Avocados are already packed
with fiber and nutrients and adding black beans and corn to the mix only kicks
it up a notch. A definite win.
4) White Chocolate, Strawberry and Oatmeal Cookies: You
will make lots of friends if you are the
dietitian that brings dessert to a party. The oatmeal base is lighter than a
cake or brownie base and has added fiber and nutrients. You can even switch out
the fruit inside the match the colors of your supported team (blueberries for
Auburn or Michigan, etc.)
Having a few healthy choices available at your party will
help balance out calories ingested. Other tips (for you, your family or your
clients) when it comes to moderating intake at tailgate parties include:
Scan the entire area first: Look at all the is
bring offered before getting a plate. Decide what ACTUALLY sounds good to you
and remember you don’t have to eat everything just because it is there. For
example, you may like guacamole, but on that particular day you may be more in
the mood for a sandwich and chips. Go with what sounds good to you.
Dial into hunger/fullness cues: Decide how
hungry you are and portion your food based on that determination. Eat slowly
and stop when you feel full. You may feel full before you get to dessert and
that’s ok. Don’t yourself past your limits. If you really want dessert but have
reached your fullness level, give it some time and come back for it later.
All this talk of food and football has got me ready for the
weekend! I hope it has for you too! Head over to the recipe page to find
another healthy option to bring to your next gathering. Happy tailgating! And
Roll Tide 😊.
Posted by Lindsey Davis