Football season has begun! Fall ushers in cooler weather and a long line of high fat and high calorie snack food, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Follow these food tips for healthier game day snacking:
- Cut up fruit and vegetables paired with a low fat dressing and have both readily available.
- Air pop some popcorn and add your own seasonings.
- Instead of tortilla chips try:
- Kale chips—Just tear kale into bite size pieces, wash and dry and place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with olive oil and seasoning salt and then bake @ 350˚ F until edges are brown but not burnt (about 10-15 minutes).
- Pita chips, whole wheat crackers, baked chips, or pretzels.
- Home-made sweet potato fries (julienne sweet potatoes, lightly coat with olive oil, add a little bit of salt and pepper, then bake).
- Cut back on high fat dips:
- Use black beans or low fat refried beans.
- Use low fat sour cream, plain yogurt, greek yogurt, or low fat cream cheese.
- Go easy on the cheese—or use avocado for extra flavor.
- Use chicken drummettes instead of wings. Remove the skin and bake; serve with your choice of condiments for a lower fat treat.
- Mixed nuts—also try baking with whatever seasonings you want for a new twist!
- Vegetarian chili
- Tortilla roll-ups: Spread low fat cream cheese or low fat mayonnaise on a whole wheat tortilla, then layer in your choice of lean meat/seafood and vegetables such as peppers, onions, lettuce, and tomato; roll up and cut into small rolls.
In addition to choosing healthier foods, try these tips to help keep your portion sizes in control:
- Have a variety of foods on hand—but don’t think you need to try them all! Having a mix of foods allows you to choose healthier options, but still allowing for a little bit of splurge.
- Choose a spot to sit and/or stand AWAY from the food. When the food is out of arm’s reach, the amount consumed is significantly decreased.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the game/event. In fact, carry your cup with you and keep it filled with water or other calorie free beverages. Drinking throughout the game not only keeps you hydrated, but also keeps your hands busy and away from mindlessly picking at food.
- Take some gum with you to chew once you are finished eating.
This season is a season to be enjoyed. Have fun and be prepared so you can enjoy the game!
-The St. Mark’s Hospital Dietitians