Healthy Tailgating

I love football season–American football, that is. I love watching it on TV as well as going to live games. But let’s face it, those of us who have been to tailgating parties before the big game know that the array of food provided does not tend to be particularly healthy or well-balanced. In a blog post last year (click the link), Emily gave some great tailgating tips. The two tips I liked best were:

  • Put foods on a plate–it is so easy to unconsciously eat or overeat when we are eating food straight from the table. It’s much easier to keep track of portion sizes when you can see the food on a plate.
  • Take the initiative–offer to bring something healthy. That way you know there will be at least one healthy item on offer. You could bring veggies and dip, hummus with whole wheat pita pockets or crackers, or fruit and a yogurt dip.

Check out the rest of the tips by clicking on the link above.

I recently came across this great article (click the link) written by a dietitian that gives several helpful tips when choosing what foods to serve at a tailgate party. For example, swap a regular bratwurst for a turkey brat and save close to 300 calories. Use a whole wheat bun, top the brat with some sauerkraut, onions and mustard, and you have a fairly decent option. Some other tips I quite liked included: swap cream or cheese dips for more healthy options like salsa, hummus or bean dips; set up a fajita bar with grilled chicken, veggies, salsa and small tortillas; and for the healthy meat-on-a-stick option, grill chunks of chicken breast with veggies or pineapple.

For more healthy tailgating options, check out the article at the link provided above.

Tailgating is a fun, fantastic way to gear up for the game and have a great time with family and friends. So make your tailgate a little healthier this year by trying out some of the tips above.

Rachel Cope MPH, RD, CD