It’s that time of year again, game day and tailgating season is here! While tailgating is a beloved tradition, it can also involve indulgent snacks and drinks that leave you feeling guilty. But fear no more! You can still enjoy all the fun, without compromising your health goals. In this article, Registered Dietitian, Chelsea Rice, shares 10 delicious and guilt-free tailgate snacks that will keep you energized and satisfied throughout your next Sunday funday!
1. Veggie or Fruit Platter
Colorful veggie and fruit platters are always a hit, yet sometimes they are easily forgotten when planning a tailgate. Think of creating a platter with all the colors of the rainbow. Cherry tomatoes, carrots, yellow bell pepper, broccoli, radishes, and cauliflower are great examples of a colorful plate of veggies. For fruits, try strawberries, mango, pineapple, green grapes, and blueberries.
A lot of tailgate dips are high in saturated fat and calories, but there are a ton of great dip options that add nutrients like protein and fiber, and are easy to make at home. The first example of a great nutritious dip, hummus. Hummus is so versatile and can be made using so many different ingredients and flavors. Serve it up with veggies, crackers, or whole wheat pita chips.
Guacamole is another great dip option to add to your tailgate lineup. Avocados are high in healthy fats and fiber, making it a delicious and nutritious option that your taste buds will love. Try serving guacamole with veggies or whole grain tortilla chips. You can also serve it with salsa or pico de gallo on the side for a fan favorite combo!
4. Greek Yogurt Dip
Greek yogurt dips are the perfect tailgate snack because they can be made using savory or sweet flavors. Simply mix Greek yogurt with your favorite herbs, spices, and add-ins of choice for a guilt-free dip. For a savory dip, try mixing together ranch seasoning with Greek yogurt. For a more sweet dip, mix together peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, and Greek yogurt. Serve your savory or sweet dip with whole grain pita chips, crackers, veggies (savory), or fruit (sweet).
5. Baked Sweet Potato Fries (or Chips)
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber- making them a fan favorite superfood! We all know how loved fries and chips are, but traditionally they are loaded with saturated fat and can be high in sodium due to being over seasoned. Instead, try slicing sweet potatoes into fries or chips, spray with olive oil, lightly season with your favorite spices, and bake until they’re crispy. To avoid a soggy or cold fry, bring along a small air fryer or grill and make the fries fresh at your next tailgate!
6. Grilled Skewers
Grilled skewers are a great way to add protein and/or fiber to your tailgate plate. For the protein and meat lovers, marinate chunks of chicken in your favorite marinade, thread them onto a skewer, and grill to perfection. For the veggie lovers, try these steps above, but replace the chicken with your favorite veggies of choice. You can even make a combo with both chicken and veggies…the options are endless!
7. Quinoa and Bean Salad
Quinoa and beans are superfoods that are both high in protein and fiber. Create a flavorful quinoa and bean salad with your favorite veggies and herbs, coated in a light vinaigrette dressing. A dish like this is satisfying, filling, colorful, and nutritious, all in one.
8. Veggie Pasta Salad
A veggie pasta salad is another great alternative to a quinoa and bean salad. Follow the same guidelines as above, mixing together cooked pasta, veggies of choice, herbs, and a light vinaigrette dressing. Pasta salads are always a crowd pleaser, and a veggie pasta salad will be no exception.
9. Fruit Tart
For the early morning risers and tailgaters, let’s not forget to add in a fun breakfast item to the menu. These Breakfast Fruit Tarts with Granola Crust, are the perfect addition to your early morning tailgate. Made with fresh fruit, crunchy granola crust, and tangy granola, your friends and family will all be talking about these fruit tarts for days!
10. Oatmeal Cookies
Sweet lovers out there, we didn’t forget about you! It’s always nice to have a dessert on hand to fill your sweet tooth during a long day out. For a guilt free dessert option, try these Low Carb Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies are easy to take on the go, are simple to make, and are perfect for bakers of all skill levels. Try them out yourself today!
Now that you have your snack lineup, it’s time to gather your friends and family and set up your tailgate. You can now savor these tasty options while you cheer on your favorite team, without feeling guilty. And the best part? They all taste delicious, while still being nutritious!