Super (Healthy) Snacks for the Super Bowl

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Written by: Heather Gerrish, RD

Whichever team you may be rooting for - make sure you root for you too! (Your health that is!). Celebrating - with food - is a common custom and is something that long term, we can’t necessarily avoid (and shouldn’t have to!). That’s where making healthy swaps and figuring out how to implement your goals for a *touchdown* for your health while still enjoying the celebration. Coming together with family and friends is special and can be fun and can fill your cup outside of healthy eating and exercise, but long term success is the integration of these factors into one - long term success is thinking about not just this Super Bowl but for many celebrations to come!

Here are some baseline tips to help keep you focused when it comes down to your Super Bowl party:

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  1. Have a “Game Plan”. Bring your own dish! (I’ve said this before, but really - this can be a lifesaver if you don’t know what is going to be served or you are unsure of if you will be able to make a healthy choice during game time).

  2. “Tackle” Those Veggies. Most often, parties involving sports have *some* sort of vegetable or fruit tray. Maximize your efforts here. You can focus on filling up on fruits and vegetables so you’re not scouring for croissant-wrapped hot dogs come halftime.

  3. “Quarter-Back-On-Up” from Alcohol. Not to say that enjoying a drink or two is not completely acceptable on occasion, long games can lead to more than anticipated enjoyment of beer and other empty-calorie drinks. Stick to water if possible, or if you would like to enjoy a drink or two - pace with water. Alcohol and anything with caffeine (coffee, tea, etc) is a diuretic, meaning it will make you excrete fluid and can lead to dehydration if you are not keeping up with your water intake! (Not fun).

Now that you have your playbook in hand, here are some helpful snacks to take with you this Super Bowl and beyond! These are recipes from all over that will help to spark ideas and inspire you to make some healthy swaps or try something new this Super Bowl!

The Classics: (quick, easy to make crowd pleasers!)

Low Carb Turkey Pesto Roll Ups  (Ambitious Kitchen)

  • What’s to Love: alternative for traditional “turkey roll ups” that provide a filling taste of pesto and protein punch with turkey but wrapped in the satisfaction of a low carb alternative to the traditional tortilla.Try this out as a good appetizer or quick bite to curb cravings

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins (Half-baked Harvest)

  • What’s to Love: a twist on the traditional recipe with using sweet potatoes that add in an additional kick of Vitamin A and fiber and not to mention heat with the added chipotle flavor.

Cauliflower Pizza Bites (Wicked Spatula)

  • What’s to Love: You won’t leave feeling dissatisfied with these bites because you get an added dose of fiber and you can have a relatively hearty serving of these little bites and still have room to indulge in other goodies!

Perfectly Portioned Nachos (Martha Stewart Blog)

  • What’s to Love: Very basic here, but the idea is to pre-portion snacks to limit the tendency to mindlessly eat while watching the game - no mindless munching here! Your nacho serving is individualized and a perfect companion to watch the game.

Strawberry Fruitballs (HeartHavenHome)

  • What’s to Love: First of all, these are adorable. You also get the added benefit of having a little treat with a sneaky serving of fiber and an added serving of fruit!

Caesar Salad Spears (Food and Wine)

  • What’s to Love: These may or may not be suitable for a hand-held snack, but nonetheless these could be a great crowd pleaser without being a traditional “salad” and it makes incorporating veggies a little more fun!

Green Beans in a Blanket (Food Network)

  • What’s to Love: If you are skipping the animal protein this year or prefer to add in more vegetables to your Super Bowl fun, this a perfect way to do it! Adding in vegetables in unexpected ways can be fun and a way to meld your prior favorites with your new healthy lifestyle.

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Remember, this is one day and in the grand scheme of health and happiness, if you choose to partake in more festivities than you anticipated, that is OK. You have the rest of your life to implement a healthy routine and one day will not derail you to fall back in to old habits and patterns BUT it is important to practice balance and find ways to bring your healthy habits and integrate them into your life - long term - and not just for “right now”. You are doing some important stuff! Don’t let one day get you down. You got this!

References:

  1. “Low Carb Pesto & Turkey Cucumber Roll Ups.” Ambitious Kitchen, 27 July 2015, www.ambitiouskitchen.com/low-carb-pesto-turkey-cucumber-roll-ups/.

  2. Halfbakedharvest. “Healthy Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins.” Half Baked Harvest, 12 July 2018, www.halfbakedharvest.com/healthy-chipotle-chicken-sweet-potato-skins/.

  3. Maya. “Cauliflower Pizza Bites.” You Are Being Redirected..., 11 Apr. 2018, www.wickedspatula.com/cauliflower-pizza-bites/.

  4. “Individual Nachos.” Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, 16 May 2017, www.marthastewart.com/960745/individual-nachos.

  5. Hearthavenhome. “Super Easy Super Bowl Treat.” HeartHavenHome, 2 Feb. 2015, hearthavenhome.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/super-easy-super-bowl-treat/.

  6. “Caesar Salad Spears.” Food & Wine, www.foodandwine.com/recipes/caesar-salad-spears.

  7. Food Network Kitchen. “Green Beans in a Blanket.” Food Network, Food Network, 4 Mar. 2016, www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/green-beans-in-a-blanket-3363684.

Danielle Gray