Gearing Up for Game Day: Tailgate Food Swaps
Welcome to our CHI Health Nutrition Health Game Days series! Over the next few weeks we will be sharing lots of ways to stay on that healthy path while enjoying the fall sports season with friends and family.
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.
Read week 2’s post about Health Game Day Appetizers!
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health, working in Oncology and Functional nutrition. Ellen helps patients improve nutrition habits during cancer treatment and beyond. She is a group fitness instructor at the CHI Health Lakeside Wellness Center and enjoys helping people of all fitness abilities be active. Ellen is passionate about helping patients improve their lives through nutrition, activity and stress management.