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Timeout! Let’s Talk Game-Time Snacking

The good news about football season is getting together with friends, cheering on the home team, enjoy a few “beverages” and munching on some scrumptious snacks.  The bad news is, by the time the quarterback has passed for 200 yards, you’ve consumed a full season’s worth of calories.

With our heads in the game and a whole pile of hot wings in arm’s reach, mindless eating and drinking are sure to take place. Soon, the only thing left is a plate full of regret and possibly a sick stomach. Sadly, the foods we’ve come to know as “football game treats” are bursting at the seam with calories, saturated fat and sodium.  That means, for your health’s sake, we need to change the game plan.

Let’s be honest, you can’t just cut all the food out of the game. Soon, you’ll be the only one at your football parties.  Instead, make some subtle changes and give them lots of options.

  1. Think whole wheat pita or whole grain crackers and serve them with hummus or salsa.
  2. Consider serving a white chicken or turkey chili
  3. Instead of chicken wings (which are typically fried and sodium-packed), try grilling chicken tenderloins or shrimp skewers with hot sauce and low-calorie blue-cheese dressing.
  4. Carrot sticks, celery slices, bell pepper strips, sliced cucumbers served with fat-free or low-fat dressings, salsa or yogurt dips give them something to crunch on.
  5. Cold shrimp with cocktail sauce
  6. Serving burgers or hoagies?  Make them miniatures. Sliders are all the rage!  Use whole grain buns and people can have a couple if they want. You can sneak under the radar with just one.
  7. Recipes abound on the Internet.  Google or Bing the desired result (i.e., non-fat dip) and pick the recipe that sounds good.
  8. What about the beverages?  A bucket of iced bottled water is a crowd-pleaser and consuming liquids will help you eat less.  Offer up light beer.  Remember, most of the eating or drinking is done on auto-pilot.

GAME DAY TIP #1: Never arrive at a party hungry.  Eat something healthy before to help fill up the gap.

GAME DAY TIP #2:   Avoid foods high in fat and refined carbohydrates like onion rings, nachos, Buffalo wings, and chips.

GAME DAY TIP #3: Popcorn, pistachios in the shell, almonds, dried cranberries, even toasted pumpkin seeds make filling, healthy snacks.

GAME DAY TIP #4: Taste, don’t stuff.  Try to down-size what you take and plan to come back, rather than fill your plate with a lifetime supply of food.

OK, that should be enough to get you started towards a healthier football season.

Ready……and break!