Note: this post was written for, and originally published on the Produce For Kids blog.
No matter what team you cheer for, we can all agree that one of the greatest things about football season is taking a time out to savor game day snacks. Tasty as they are, what you may not realize is that many of the most beloved tailgating tidbits are sky-high in calories, laden with sugar and full of fat. Does that mean it’s time for your home team to resign themselves to a season of celery sticks? Not so fast. With a few simple tweaks, you can give old favorites a new and healthier spin that is sure to please the discerning palates of sports fans big and small.
Swap sour cream for Greek yogurt.Top chili and other dips with Greek yogurt, which is low in sugar and high in calcium and protein. Want to kick it up a notch? Try adding chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Make your own fresh salsa. Store-bought salsas often blitz attack you with sugar and preservatives. The next time you’re craving something zesty, skip the shelves and head to the produce section. When it comes to homemade salsa, let your imagination and taste buds call the play. Grab a few tomatoes, an onion, cilantro and garlic to create a classic rendition. Feeling adventurous? Add diced mango, peaches, or pineapple for something a little different like this Peach Tomato Salsa Or, really spice it up with this Tomato Jalapeno salsa recipe.
Go for the touchdown with fresh fruit. To satiate sweet-craving kiddos, ditch the sugary, processed candy and serve nature’s candy as a healthy alternative. These banana popsdrizzled with honey and rolled in nuts and chocolate are sweet treats that will leave sports fans cheering for more.
Sack the bagged corn chips. Flavorful, baked cheese crisps are a delicious, protein-rich alternative to greasy, fried corn chips. Just spread shredded Parmesan cheese, about 1/8” think, on a baking pan (coated with nonstick cooking spray) and bake in 400°F oven for up to five minutes. (Watch them closely, as they can burn easily!) Break into chips. Eat them plain or put them on dipping duty. However you serve them up, they’re sure to make you say “mmm!”
Hand off your beef burgers for veggie or turkey. Ground beef can be high in fat, but swapping for a leaner meat, like turkey, or taking the veggie route can cut calories and fat. Just make sure to top your burgers with lots of veggies for an extra health kick that will keep you fuller longer. Try the Very Veggie Burgers or Turkey Burgers this season.