How to Healthy Tailgate!

Football, Halloween, and Homecomings. It’s about Fall and football season! As I will excitedly make my way to the loveliest village on the plains, it’s hard to look past the overindulgence of Saturdays with all the food and booze.

As we head to our college towns or big cities to cheer on our beloved teams, how do we “stay on track” with all the extra indulgent options? How can you be social and still healthily enjoy multiple Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays of good food and fun? Here are a few tips for navigating tailgates and providing healthier options when you are having all the fun.

Pack a bag for YOU

Always be prepared. Take some items in your personal bag: apple, nut mixes, protein bars, and granola bars, to name a few. Partake in other foods provided but load up on vegetables & fruits when available.

Bring a healthier option to the tailgate or party. 

When it comes to hosting a tailgate, you have all the power to provide healthy snacks and meals that your guests can enjoy. You can differentiate your tailgate from all the others by providing tastier yet healthier foods, such as these ideas:

VEGGIES: Whether you are hosting or taking something to the tailgate, everyone needs a vegetable tray! In social situations, we graze and mindlessly eat. It’s better to have lower-calorie options for guests to snack on instead of filling up on high-calorie snack foods. Vegetables go great with different dips, such as the buffalo chicken dip. Speaking of…

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP: Instead of a traditional cheese dip or chips and dip, create this healthy option!

All you need is two cans of chicken packed in water (drained), mixed with 1 low-fat cream cheese, ½ cup buffalo sauce, and 1 dry ranch packet. Serve with raw veggies or whole wheat crackers like Wheat Thins or Crunchmasters crackers. This is always a hit! 

GREEK YOGURT ARTICHOKE SPINACH DIP: Artichoke dip is always a crowd pleaser, but it is usually very high in calories and saturated fat. To make a healthier version:

  • 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 14 oz. artichoke hearts (in water, drained)
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 10 oz. pack frozen spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¼ c reduced-fat parmesan cheese

Chop hearts and mix all ingredients together, saving some of the cheeses to top the dish with. Place ingredients in a casserole dish, top with extra cheese and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or put in a slow cooker if you have access to electricity at the tailgate.

ALCOHOL: While no alcohol is a personal choice for many, let’s be realistic and chat about a few lower-calorie booze options for the big games.

  • light beer
  • vodka with club soda 
  • seltzers

As we gear up for an amazing, fun time of the year (especially in Alabama), remember to be prepared and be conscious of your choices on the weekends. Derailing your diet on the weekends can significantly impact your week’s discipline. Mindless calories add up quickly.

If you are in charge of the tailgate, do yourself and your guests a favor and incorporate healthy options. Your guests will appreciate it (tomorrow). 

Are you looking for more personalized help from a registered dietitian, nutritionist? Fill out my commitment-free interest form. Let’s connect and see if we are a good fit for you! 

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