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party table for watching american football featuring vegetable platters

Game Day Nutrition: Beating the Appetizer Game

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It is officially football season. Whether you are cheering on your favorite team or just enjoying
the game day atmosphere, there is no denying the temptation of mindless snacking. But, fear
not! With some smart strategies and nutritious recipes, you can enjoy this football season
without sacrificing your health and wellness.

5 Winning Strategies to Avoid Mindless Snacking

  • Plan Your Plays Ahead: Just like a well-prepared playbook, planning your game-day snacks is essential. Opt for healthier options like veggie platters, fruit skewers, or air-popped popcorn. Spoiler Alert: We have 5 recipes under 100 calories for you below!
  • Stay Hydrated: Sometimes you can mistake being thirsty for being hungry. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times during the game. Sip on it regularly to curb your hunger, keep you hydrated, and keep your hands busy.
  • Portion Control: Use smaller plates and bowls to serve yourself your snacks. This not only controls the amount on your plate, but it also makes it appear more abundant.
  • Mindful Munching: Pay attention to what you are eating. Taste the food. Chew the food. SLOW DOWN. This mindful approach can help you recognize when you’re truly satisfied.
  • Balanced Lineup: If you are hosting, create a balanced lineup of snacks that includes a mix of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This keeps you more full and energized throughout the day.

5 Football Appetizers Under 100 Calories

  • Zesty Guacamole: Whip up a batch of guacamole using ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, onions, and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with carrot and celery sticks for a creamy, guilt-free dip. A 1/4 cup (about 60 grams) of guacamole with veggies like carrot and celery sticks should keep you under 100 calories.
  • Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries: Slice sweet potatoes into thin strips, toss with olive oil, and bake until crispy. Season with your favorite spices for a delightful side. About 1/2 cup (approximately 75 grams) of baked sweet potato fries should be around 100 calories.
  • Greek Yogurt Dip: Mix Greek yogurt with minced garlic, lemon juice, and fresh dill for a tangy and protein-packed dip. Pair with cucumber slices or whole-grain pita chips. Approximately 1/2 cup (120 grams) of Greek yogurt dip with cucumber slices or whole-grain pita chips will keep you within 100 calories.
  • Stuffed Mini Peppers: Halve mini bell peppers and remove the seeds. Stuff them with a mixture of light cream cheese and chopped herbs. Each bite is bursting with flavor and color. Two stuffed mini bell pepper halves would be a reasonable portion, providing a colorful and flavorful snack.
  • Spicy Roasted Chickpeas: Season chickpeas with your choice of spices such as paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Roast until crunchy for a satisfying, high-fiber snack. A serving size of about 1/4 cup (30 grams) of roasted chickpeas should be under 100 calories, depending on the seasonings used.

Please note that these are rough estimates, and the exact calorie content can vary depending on the specific ingredients and preparation methods. Always check the nutrition labels or use a nutritional calculator for precise measurements if you’re tracking calories closely.

Whether you’re cheering from the bleachers or your living room couch, make the most of this season by staying mindful of your choices and indulging in flavorful, health-conscious snacks!


This article was written by Amanda Herlocker MS, RDN, LDN, The Queen City Dietitian, LLC @ ModernWeigh