Sports fans wait all season to enjoy the festivities of the Big Game. Whether you’re heading to the Big Apple or throwing your own bash, you’ll be faced with the annual temptation of snacks and drinks ranging from wings, chips and dips to sweets, beer and more. According to the Calorie Control Council, Americans will consume 30 million pounds of snacks on the day of the Big Game. That breaks down to about 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat per person!
Follow my Game Day Host Playbook to help your armchair quarterbacks save hundreds of calories. Stay on trend with tapas-style portions of your favorite snacks and calorie-saving swaps–all without losing that game day spirit!
Be a Small Plates MVP
Enjoy game day snacks in mini versions to feel satisfied sans the guilt.
- Lean meat makes Turkey Mini Meatballs a fat-saving fan favorite.
- Bite-sized boneless wings, baked in the oven, are a smart substitution for the traditional game day favorite.
- Potato skin bites made in mini red-skinned potatoes taste indulgent, but they aren’t when stuffed with low-fat cheese and served with plain, non-fat yogurt.
- Tacos made in wonton wrappers are a bite-sized treat. Place wrappers in a muffin tin and pile in your favorite fillings before baking.
- Sports and pizza just go together. Fool your friends with this healthy twist: top mini pita bread rounds with pizza sauce, low-fat cheese and turkey pepperonis; then bake.
Go for the Quarterback Sneak
Dips are a must for any game day party, so pull a trick play on your guests by swapping out higher fat ingredients without losing any flavor.
- Go Greek with tzatziki, a cucumber dip made with non-fat yogurt, or serve up hummus, a classic made with chickpeas. They both pack a nutritional punch and your guests won’t know how healthfully they are eating.
- Try the hottest new appetizer: guacamame! By combining avocado and mashed edamame, you’ll reduce fat and calories by over 25%.
- Prepare classic taco dip with black beans, low-fat cheese and plain, non-fat yogurt.
- Serve dips with veggie slices, whole grain or baked tortilla chips, baked potato chips, veggie chips or wheat pita triangles.
Avoid the Instant Replay
Statistics show that you could fill 493 Olympic-sized swimming pools with the amount of beer consumed on the day of the Big Game. Enjoy some spirits, but limit calories by alternating alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones. Try a zero-calorie option like flavored water, Coke Zero or iced tea in between brews.
Keep Your Lead in the Fourth Quarter
Skip cupcakes and cookies, which are packed with calories and fat, and consider a simple sweet treat instead. Some of my favorites include:
- Kettle corn
- Cinnamon-sugar pita chips with fruit salsa
- Chocolate snack mix
- Chocolate dipped strawberries
- A s’mores bar in which guests create their own unique s’mores. Include fun toppings such as dark chocolate, caramel and fruit jam.
The big Game Day celebration doesn’t have to cost you your entire calorie bank! Make some smart substitutions, and you and your guests won’t feel like they’ve missed a play.