At our house, it’s always a countdown to the college football season. My husband usually has it posted on our family calendar as a priority for the weekend. I’m fine with that because I enjoy a good football game, too. However, the challenge is how to eat through the football season without doubling in size because when you think football, you think food. That food usually includes chips, cheesy sauces, fried food and beverages. Football snacks are not usually on the top 10 healthy foods list.
We also enjoy having people over to watch football games and I have to admit it’s hard to serve Greek yogurt and hummus on whole wheat pita bread. That just doesn’t scream cool. However, there are ways you can disguise your usual football food to look cool and manly, while cutting out some fat and calories.
Start with your dip. I have to admit that my favorite football game snack is a bag of tortilla chips with a can of chili melted into 8 ounces of cream cheese. Yes, I can usually feel my arteries clogging, but it tastes so good. I’ve learned to use turkey chili instead of beef chili and low-fat cream cheese. Still tastes great, with less fat and calories. You can also serve salsa instead of sauces. Most of the time, the guys won’t even miss the cheese as long as the salsa keeps coming. Here is a recipe for a Southwestern Layered Bean Dip that is full of veggies and made with reduced calorie sour cream.
As with the chili, substitute ground turkey meat with beef if you are going to put together a plate of nachos. You can also use black beans and low-fat cheese. In addition, top your nachos with as many veggies as you like. It looks good and tastes good, too. When it’s time to hit the barbecue, consider grilled chicken kebabs with fresh peppers, mushrooms and onions as opposed to the greasy chicken wings.
For snacks to munch on during the game, serve air popped popcorn, low sodium pretzels and trail mix with a variety of nuts and dried fruit. These are easy to throw in a bowl without loading on the calories.
As long as there is football, there is going to be food. It’s up to you to think about creative ways to enjoy the game, have your friends over, and overtly or covertly—however you wish to do it—present healthier options during the game.