How to Make Your Tailgate Healthy

make-your-tailgateseasonhealthyFall is finally approaching and you know what that means- football season is here! In my opinion, the best part of watching football games is the food! Classic tailgating food is delicious but unfortunately it’s usually not very healthy.  When you plan your football spread this year, try some of these healthier tailgate recipes.

Snacks & Sides:

  • Light Buffalo Chicken Dip- Buffalo chicken and football are a classic pairing. This buffalo chicken dip uses a combination of low-fat cream cheese and plain Greek yogurt to lighten up this creamy classic. Dig in with carrot slices, celery spear, or whole grain chips.
  • Seven Layer Dip- You can never have too many dips at a tailgate! This seven layer dip is packed with avocados for healthy fats, onions and tomatoes for nutrients, and Greek yogurt for half the fat.
  • Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip- Have you noticed the trend here? Swap plain Greek yogurt for any sour cream and mayonnaise in creamy recipes for a light version of a dish. This time, use Greek yogurt and spices you probably already have on hand to whip up this ranch dip that’s perfect with veggie slices.
  • Honey Mustard Broccoli Slaw- This light, honey mustard sauce will jazz up your standard slaw recipe. Plus broccoli has vitamin C, vitamin A, and calcium!

Main Dishes:

  • Grilled Chicken Sausages- There are many brands of sausages made from chicken at the grocery store these days. Swapping your typical bratwurst for chicken sausage will cut back on the calories and saturated fat. Grill and top them with your favorite condiments and you won’t even tell the difference.
  • Macaroni & Cheese with Squash- Butternut squash makes this macaroni and cheese extra creamy without the added fat. Who knew you could fit veggies into a classic like mac and cheese?
  • Turkey Chili- Who doesn’t love a good bowl of chili while watching the game? This chili has the great flavor you expect but uses turkey to reduce the saturated fat.

Sweet Treats:

One final thing to keep in mind: alcohol contains many calories (7 calories per gram!) so it’s easy to down a lot of calories without even realizing it. Choosing a light beer or wine spritzer made with sparkling water can help you enjoy your tailgate experience while watching your diet.

Lauren Wright

Lauren Wright works with both the HYPE Project and Let’s Go! SC. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Human Nutrition at Winthrop University. Previously, she earned her BA in Political Science at the University of Florida and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda.

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