If you are a football fan like I am, you have been waiting since February for the action to begin again. Well wait no more; it is finally here! Sundays will again be filled with nail biting games, division rivalries, oh and of course FOOD! There is nothing more enjoyable than getting together with family and friends on a fall day to watch football and enjoy some good eats! Keep in mind, however, that the season is 17 weeks long. So keeping the menu in good balance and moderation will be key to not taking a penalty on your health!
8 Ways to Keep Fruits & Veggies in the Game
- Veggie Tray + Dips. Keep a vegetable tray paired with low-fat dips or hummus out and visible throughout the entire game. Goodies and high calorie snack foods should only make a one-time appearance.
- Burgers. Blended burgers are a great way to add flavor and nutrition while cutting fat and calories. Blend your favorite lean meat with beans, peppers and onions, or mushrooms. Don’t forget leafy lettuce, sliced tomatoes and onions for toppings.
- Chips. Make your own baked tortilla chips to dip in fresh salsa or a bean dip.
- Looking for those yummy deep fried treats? Try breaded baked veggie crisps instead. Cut up your favorite veggies: broccoli crowns, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. Dip in a raw scrambled egg, roll in a bread crumb and parmesan cheese mixture, and bake in a 450°F oven for 12 minutes. Drizzle with a fat-free ranch dressing.
- Chili. Since pre-game shows start early in the morning, toss some chili in the crock pot. With a few simple ingredients such as lean ground beef, onions, canned tomatoes and beans, tomato sauce and seasoning, you can set the timer and walk away!
- Potatoes. Find an easy way to tackle taters. Toss a baked potato in the microwave after piercing a few holes in it. Heat for about 10 minutes. Carefully open up and let your guests add their favorite toppings: chili, low-fat cheese, pico de gallo, fat-free sour cream, chives, etc.
- Fruit Kabobs. Taste sweet victory with fun fruit kabobs. Line up a few pieces of cut fruit on a skewer and dip in a tasty flavored yogurt.
- Grilled Fruit + Ice Cream. If the grill is still hot, toss on a few pineapple or peach slices. Once they are perfectly grilled, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
And last but not least, MOVE more! Make sure you stretch your legs during commercials and half time! Incorporate some quick, fun games to get the whole family moving!
Meredith McGrath RD, LDN
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