It’s that time fun time of year, football season, where hot dogs, chips, cookies and beer are plentiful. Have you wondered if there’s any way you can enjoy the season but still not add inches to your waistline? Read on for a Dietitian’s tips for tailgates.
  1. Plan ahead. Depending on how long you’ll be at a tailgate or pre-game party, you may not even have to eat there at all. Try to eat lunch before to save a TON of calories. Then, you can just enjoy a drink and spending time with your friends. If you choose this option be sure you stay away from the snack table. It will be temping otherwise.
  2. Bring something you can eat.There are so many food choices you could bring to a tailgate that would be a healthy alternative. Be the first to sign up to bring food to insure you’re taken care of and your friends will eat it right up!  

    Main course options: marinated shrimp on skewers for grilling; chicken tenders breaded with corn flakes and baked; bite-size beef tenderloin. Or, make your burgers with extra lean beef or turkey using egg whites to “hold” them together.

    Snacks/Sides: sweet potato fries; corn, mango and edamame salad; trail mix; fruit salad; veggies with hummus dip; roasted corn. Watch these options disappear quickly but you still have healthy options!

    Desserts: suckers are good because they take a while to eat; dark chocolate covered strawberries or cherries; fruit on skewers.

  3. Watch the liquid calories. Beer is usually the drink of choice when football is involved. Consider a wine spritzer instead with equal parts red or white wine and club soda served over ice. This will be half the calories of drinking beer and is still refreshing. If you prefer no alcohol, drink ice water or unsweetened tea.

The consistent message here is saving calories. In party situations, snack-type food and drink calories add up quickly. No matter how you decide to save on your calorie budget, get one plate and enjoy yourself but only have that one plate. And, for every alcoholic drink you have, drink the same amount of water.   These tips will ensure you have fun but not bust any buttons!