Whether it’s playoff basketball, baseball rivalries or football season, there are always great excuses to gather around the television for your favorite sports team. This is also the time of year that those diet resolutions can come crashing down if you’re not careful.
Try the following healthy food ideas for game day so you can indulge and keep everyone happy, diet or no diet.
Get Your ‘Crunches’ In
Everyone loves chips and dip, until it hits their waistline. Sure, you could serve celery and carrot sticks with your dip, but that probably won’t go over too well with most game-day fans. Consider alternatives such as air-popped popcorn with taco seasoning or even a dash of hot sauce to spice things up and still give you a satisfying crunch.
If your crowd insists on chips, offer pita chips as an alternative — you can even make your own using heart-healthy olive oil. Another homemade option is cutting wonton wraps into triangles, brushing them with olive oil and seasoning them with Parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Bake the triangles on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for eight minutes.
You can also try ranch dressing seasoning for something a little different, giving you much healthier chips to serve your game-day crowd.
Have you ever read the label on those tubs of onion dip? Shocking, isn’t it? Make your own dips using low-fat yogurt to cut the fat and add nutrition. Another great option is hummus, which comes in a variety of delicious flavors and is a great dip for any occasion.
The Main Event
You’ll likely want a main course to go along with these tasty, healthy food ideas. So if your clan loves pizza, go for the homemade variety with a whole-grain or gluten-free crust, low-fat cheeses and vegetable toppings. Just make sure you ditch the pepperoni, sausage and ham.
If chicken wings are an absolute must during football games, be sure to opt for the kind with no breading and use a low-fat ranch dip.
Don’t forget the chili! No matter which recipe you use, you can make it healthier by substituting the ground beef with ground turkey and using low-sodium ingredients. If you don’t already have your own chili recipe, try this simple game-day chili recipe.
Healthy Game-Day Chili Recipe
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 can (15 oz) drained kidney beans
- 1 can (14 oz) low-sodium beef broth
- 1 can low-sodium diced tomatoes including juice
Add turkey, garlic and onion to a Dutch oven and brown the turkey. Drain off any excess fat, then add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes before serving.
Enjoy the season without breaking those diet resolutions with a few healthy substitutions. Leave the bulking up to the players, not the fans.