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Grilled veggie skewers with cherry tomatoes, radishes, peppers and onions with fresh dill on a grill pan||Football Tailgate BBQ Grill on Grass

Gearing Up for Game Day: Tailgate Food Swaps

Whether you are heading to a tailgate or hosting a watch party – sporting events and tailgate food go hand in hand. Sure, you could bring buffalo cauliflower or keto nachos, but those are so last season. Watch your favorite football team with food swaps that will keep everyone cheering!

The Veggie Tray vs. Grilled Veggie Kabobs

Vegetables are cool again! Trade out the traditional veggie tray for some grilling!  Grilling makes for a unique flavor that even the biggest carnivore will love.  Try an Italian marinade or fresh avocado dip for a flavor twist.  Need to make a meal?  Add to a bowl of brown rice and beans or pair with grilled Buffalo wings.

Beef vs. Venison

Venison is typically lower in fat and calories, in comparison to beef.  When comparing a 4 oz. portion, venison boasts 1 gram of saturated fat compared to 7.5 grams in beef.  This equals a difference of 172 more calories!  This substitution can be made in burgers or chili quite easily.  Hesitant to try it?  Try a 50/50 mix to start.  Flavor is your friend here- seasoning venison helps to limit the “gamey” taste.

Cookies vs. Dessert Hummus

Chocolate flavored chickpeas?  Believe the hype!  Dessert hummus boasts 3 grams of fiber and about 80 calories per serving.  It pairs well with fresh fruit for a sweet treat.  This swap saves on saturated fat and empty calories that come from one (or three or four) cookies during game.  Beware of brands with added sugar and check specialty stores for different flavors.

Bring the touchdown dish to your next football party with these tailgate food swaps.  As always – enjoy food mindfully as distracted eating leads to excess calorie consumption.  Stay tuned for more food tips from your CHI Health dietitians.

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner. She is the diabetes education program coordinator at CHI Health and sees patients at the Millard Clinic. She works with patients to identify root causes to health conditions and make changes to improve overall health. Ellen’s passion is to help others develop lifestyle habits that allow them to feel their best.

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