Kick Off Your Super Bowl Party With Healthy Options

The biggest football game of the year is only days away. It doesn’t matter if you are a football fan or not. People don’t just go to Super Bowl parties for the football—they go to watch the commercials and half-time show, and most importantly, enjoy the food. From appetizers to main dishes to desserts, super bowl parties usually include a wide variety of foods. Some of the most popular Super Bowl foods are chicken wings, sliders, pizza, dips, meatballs, potato skins, cheese balls and cakes. People can consume as much as 2400 calories during the four-hour game. If you want to offer your guests choices, there are plenty of ways to offer delicious and healthy options alongside the traditional “super bowl” foods.

If you have a favorite recipe but want to “lighten” it up, there are easy substitutions to make without sacrificing the flavor.

  • When making dips, substitute low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt for regular sour cream to reduce saturated fat and calories.
  • Try reduced-fat cheese in recipes or choose a sharp cheese so you can use a smaller amount but still get the flavor.
  • For those Buffalo chicken dip fans, there are easy ways to cut the calories and saturated fat. Use low-fat cream cheese and lite Ranch dressing (or plain yogurt with Ranch dip seasoning packet) and serve with veggies as a healthy option. Another option is to cut out the cheese, and uses low-sodium chicken broth, chicken, cauliflower, Buffalo sauce and cream cheese.

People like to snack during the game. For those fans who want healthy choices:

  • Offer a vegetable tray with lite dip or hummus.
  • Make meatballs and chili using extra lean ground beef or low fat ground turkey in place of regular ground beef. Another great option is White Chicken Chili. These foods are easy foods to make the day before the game and serve in a slow cooker.
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Chili provides a healthy and hearty option for Super Bowl fans. The best part is it’s super easy to make with a slow cooker!

A party is not complete without desserts.

  • Fruit trays are always a popular and healthy choice. If you are more creative, try carving a small watermelon into a football helmet and fill it with a mixed fruit salad.
  • Add more themed treats with chocolate-dipped strawberry footballs, which use white chocolate “strings” to transform this favorite Valentine treat into a perfect Super Bowl menu option.
  • Another unique and low-fat dessert is a chocolate Rice Krispies football. Make them with Cocoa Krispies instead, add unsweetened cocoa powder to the melted margarine and marshmallow mixture and shape them to look like one big football or several small footballs. Decorate with melted white chocolate for the strings and stripes on the football.

Enjoy the Super Bowl without feeling super stuffed by offering healthy options along with some of your traditional foods.  For more recipe ideas, visit Cooking Light or Taste of Home.

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