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Healthy Tailgating Ideas

A tailgate party is a great time to enjoy friends, football, and food. Do your guests a favor by serving some healthier options at your next event. Let this chart be your guide to help reduce fat, cholesterol, and sodium, while increasing antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. For more nutrition tips from Margaret, visit her website or contact margaretmo@acac.com.

If you usually serve: Chicken wings
Try this instead: Marinated grilled chicken

Boneless, skinless chicken can be marinated in advance and will cook quickly when thrown on a hot grill. Use a meat thermometer to avoid over or under-cooking; chicken breasts should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165.

If you usually serve: Nachos with cheese
Try this instead: Baked chips and salsa

Fried corn chips and cheese sauce can be easily replaced by a delicious salsa.

If you usually serve: Potato chips
Try this instead: Hummus and whole-wheat pita

Hummus is a traditional Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas. Contributing fiber, protein, and healthy fats; this dip is a healthful crowd pleaser.

If you usually serve: Bratwurst
Try this instead: Turkey sliders

Ground turkey is a lean meat that makes an excellent burger. Sliders are just smaller versions of a standard burger. Slice buns width-wise and toast on the grill during the last few minutes of cooking for a nice crust.

If you usually serve: Meat lovers pizza
Try this instead: Vegetarian pizza

High fat meats like sausage and bacon contribute unhealthy fats and calories. Vegetables contain the least amount of calories and the most amount of fiber and antioxidants.

If you usually serve: Cocktail wieners
Try this instead: Caprese skewers

Skewers of tomato, mozzarella, and basil drizzled in a balsamic vinaigrette make for a beautiful presentation while adding calcium and vitamin C. Use mozzarella sparingly to minimize fat content.