veggies-on-grillTailgate parties are notorious for their vast selection of tasty meats, salty chips, and alcoholic beverages. With all the food temptation and excitement for the upcoming football game, it can be tough to make healthy choices. Check out 10 tips below for ways enjoy your Fall tailgates while keeping your waistline in check.

  1. Don’t skip breakfast! You’ll be less likely to over-indulge later, and it will keep your energy levels up for a long day ahead.
  2. Pack a football, Frisbee, or corn hole to stay active. Packing these activities will not only help to keep you entertained, but will add some extra activity into your busy day.
  3. Offer fresh fruits and vegetables: Pre-slice your veggies and fruit to save time on game day or purchase a fruit/veggie tray. Fresh fruit salads are also a great option for a healthy dessert.
  4. Offer water in addition to high calorie favorites: you can put out bottles of water or make a pitcher of fruit and herb infused water (like lemon and lime or strawberry and basil) for people to enjoy.
  5. Choose leaner proteins: offer lower fat choices of meat, such as chicken, turkey, shrimp, or 90/10 ground beef. Offer nuts, peanut butter, hummus, or edamame for snacks.
  6. Watch your meat cooking on the grill – charring meat produces carcinogens that can be dangerous for your health. Use a meat thermometer to know when your meats are perfectly cooked!
  7. Consider making a few healthy ingredient substitutions: bring whole wheat buns for extra fiber and nutrition. Use plain, non-fat Greek yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise, sour cream, or cream cheese in recipes. Applesauce can be used in place of sugar, honey or oil for baked goods. Use reduced-fat cheese in place of regular cheese in recipes.
  8. Eliminate salt added just for seasoning: the majority of the ingredients we use are high in sodium already, so avoiding adding more salt often won’t affect the final taste of your item.
  9. Double the veggies in casserole and pasta dishes:  when making items like pasta salad, double the amount of vegetables you typically use. You can then cut back on other items, like pasta, rice or bread. This will decrease calories and add nutritional value to the dish.
  10. Serve dishes in pre-portioned serving cups instead of large plates or dishes: this helps to keep portion sizes in check – and they are sure to be a crowd-pleaser for cute presentation!