Score Big with this Skinny Game Day Menu

Tailgating is a sport of its own, with more than 70 million Americans hosting or attending tailgate parties to root on the home team.

But here’s the Game Day dilemma: How can you enjoy yourself and serve up great-tasting food without racking up the calorie and nutritional penalties? Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD from Appetite for Health is here to help with a winning strategy.

The four food groups of football—beer, wings, pizza and chips and dip can really pile on calories. In fact, a tailgate party can set you back some 1,500 calories—and that’s all before kickoff. By the fourth quarter, it’s not uncommon to eat and drink several days’ worth of calories. Some simple substitutions in your Game Day menu can make you the “MVP” of the party. Here’s what to serve and what to sideline, and several winning recipes to try.

Blitz on Chips and Game Day Dip: Opt for baked chips instead of fried to slash calories and fat and make your dips with nonfat plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Using a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt in place of regular sour cream shaves off 315 calories and 45 grams of fat from your dip recipes.

A Few Skinny Dip Ideas:

Skinny Artichoke Dip
Creamy Cold Parmesan Spinach Dip
Hot Spinach Dip
Skinny Taco Dip 
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip
Southwestern Black Bean Salsa

Wings pack in about 75 calories—not counting the dip! Bench Wings and Put Burgers on Your Playbook: For a main course to serve and ones to sack, go with burgers made from ground sirloin or 95% lean ground beef; or make a turkey or salmon burger.

Try these leaner tasty options…

Buffalo Turkey Burgers with Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw
Chicken Parmigiana Burgers
Turkey Burgers with Zucchini
Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

If you’re serving pizza, make sure it’s veggie-rich and ask for half the cheese and meat toppings. Or eliminate the bread altogether and serve these Zucchini Pizza Bites.

Score with Extra Light Beer: As an official food group of football, beer is required if it’s a real football party. There are 150 calories in a bottle of regular and 95-100 in most light beers. But if you try a new extra light choices, like MGD 64, Budweiser Select 54 or Beck’s Premier Light you’ll not only have a skinnier sip, you’ll help damper the appetite-stimulating impact of alcohol.

Guest Post from Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD from Appetite for Health