Healthy Snacking Tips for the Big Game

Four quarters of playoff football, or eight quarters if you’re parked in front of the flat screen for two consecutive games, is a long time to be snacking! That’s why it’s important to approach each opening kickoff with a food game plan to assure that you’ll make it to the final seconds without being flagged for too many bowls of chips!

“Before you suit up for your next football viewing party, have a small, healthy snack such as an apple or a handful of raisins and nuts,” said Patricia Salzer, a registered dietitian and workplace wellness consultant at Univera Healthcare. “If you’re hungry when you get to the party, your willpower will go ‘wide right.’”

Salzer suggests offering to bring a healthy dish for everyone to enjoy, such as vegetables and low-fat dip. You can crunch away on celery, broccoli, bell peppers and carrots! Be wary of dipping veggies in ranch or a similar creamy dressing which could load on the calories. Instead, prepare dips using Greek yogurt or light sour cream.

Baked tortilla chips make just as good a base for nachos as their greasy fried counterparts. Stack them high with layers of cilantro, shredded lettuce, beans, fresh avocado, diced tomatoes and jalapenos. If you’re adding ground beef, use the kind labeled “90 percent lean,” and be sure to drain away the fat.

Another tip is to first take a 30-second food time out to assess all the choices on the game day spread before deciding on what treats you really want to tackle.

“Move away from the table, walk around and mingle. If you stay next to the food, you’re more likely to overeat,” added Salzer.

By being aware of what you are eating and focusing on portion size, you’ll breeze your way though the playoffs, and be ready to to take on the Super Buffet on the day of “The Big Game.”