Football season means tailgating time! Unfortunately, energy can add up shortly, particularly in the event you’re a die-hard fan.

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Adding a number of wholesome dishes to your menu is usually a whole game-changer. Whether you’re watching the large recreation with household or gathering with mates earlier than the festivities kick off, it’s surprisingly straightforward to swap in better-for-you variations of everybody’s favourite game-day meals — with out sacrificing taste or emotions of indulgence.

Dietitian Kate Patton MEd, RD, LD, CSSD, shares six wholesome tips in relation to your tailgating habits.

Cook up some kebabs

It’s attainable to make burgers that received’t bathroom you down, however in the event you’re planning to fireside up the grill, why not attempt kebabs as an alternative? Stack them along with your alternative of meat (keep on with rooster or shrimp, in the event you’re searching for the healthiest choice), plus peppers, onions, mushrooms, pineapple or different produce you take pleasure in. Brush them with olive oil and herbs for a surge of taste.

“Kebabs have fewer calories and less saturated fat than other tailgate options,” Patton says. Here are two wholesome, tasty kebab recipes to attempt:

Get imaginative with appetizers

When you consider appetizers, do you consider fried meals? Time to vary the narrative that wings and mozzarella sticks are the one choices for pre-meal munchies.

Patton provides up one vital reminder, although: “Just remember to practice portion control,” she says. “Even the healthiest appetizers should be eaten in moderation.” Try these:

Skip the chips, however preserve the potatoes

Potatoes are a typical game-day staple, however to maintain issues wholesome, skip the chips and the mayo-heavy potato salad. “They’re traditionally high in fat and calories,” Patton warns.

Looking for a spin on the widespread spud? Try a baked potato bar! Rub the surface of the potatoes in olive oil, individually wrap them in aluminum foil and set them straight onto the grill. Set out bowls of toppings choices, like salsa, sautéed spinach, black beans and Parmesan cheese — all sparsely.

If you’re simply not feeling a baked potato bar, or in the event you want a extra moveable potato recipe to take with you to a potluck, listed here are another choices:

Transform conventional pasta salad

Your style buds could love an excellent old school deli pasta salad, however it doesn’t do a lot (if something) to your physique. When grains are refined, the 2 outer layers — the bran and germ — are eliminated in an try to reinforce the style and lengthen shelf life. But this course of additionally removes vital vitamins like vitamin B and fiber.

“Using 100% whole-wheat (or any whole grain) pasta or bean-based pasta will increase your intake of key nutrients associated with improved glycemic control and decreased risk of coronary heart disease,” Patton says. Try these pasta salad recipes, for a change:

Snack well

Calories can add up shortly in the event you’re a die-hard snack fan, so attempt pairing your wholesome entrée decisions with nutritious snacks like air-popped popcorn, grilled corn, multigrain crackers with hummus and guacamole, recent fruit salad and a crudité platter.

And in the event you’re a giant fan of dips, don’t despair. There are a lot of choices that retain the vibe (and the flavour) with out packing within the energy.

Don’t really feel beholden to beer

If you’re internet hosting a celebration at dwelling, think about serving Bloody Marys as an alternative of beer. “Because the base is potassium-rich tomato juice, they provide more nutrients than other alcoholic beverages,” Patton explains. Try a “Boosted” Bloody Mary, which sneaks in some omega-3 fatty acids via the addition of kale.

Just remember to go mild on the salt, and all the time drink alcohol sparsely — outlined as one glass per day for ladies and folks assigned feminine at beginning and two glasses for males and folks assigned male at beginning.

And keep in mind: You don’t need to depend on booze to have a good time tailgating. Approximately 15 million Americans stay with alcohol use disorder (AUD), and alcohol can contribute to emotions of tension (to not point out nasty hangovers). Serve up one thing enjoyable and nonalcoholic, like:

  • Berry Basil-ade: This antioxidant-rich choice has no added sweeteners and an intriguing mix of savory and candy flavors.
  • Fruit-Infused Water: What? Water?! Infusing commonplace H20 with fruits and herbs offers it a lift of nutritional vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and style.
  • Refreshing Mock-A-Rita: Made with lemonade or limeade, it’s received all the flavour and not one of the alcohol. 

Keep meals security in thoughts

Don’t let foodborne sickness spoil your enjoyable. Not certain how lengthy to prepare dinner your meats? Safe procedures embrace cooking to an inside temperature of:

  • 145 Fahrenheit for entire meats (permitting the meat to relaxation for 3 minutes earlier than consuming).
  • 160 F for floor meats.
  • 165 F for all poultry.

And don’t neglect different meals security practices: Clean plates and utensils effectively to keep away from cross-contamination, wash produce earlier than preparation and refrigerate high-protein meals after they’ve been sitting out for some time — one hour for warm climate and two hours in colder climate.

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