Patient First: Super Snacks For The Game

— The big game is this weekend, and let’s be honest – some of the best parts of game day are tailgating and parties. It just wouldn't be football season without a buffet line of chips and Buffalo wings!

Here’s the kicker: gorging on game day treats can ruin any healthy eating plan. Making a few nutritious adjustments to your favorite football snacks can make a healthy difference.

Try these healthy game-day snacks:

1. MAKE IT YOURSELF

 Do you love guacamole? Try mashing fresh avocado and adding your favorite salsa to make a great guacamole without the preservatives and mystery-ingredients of store brands. Pair with baked tortilla chips to enjoy this healthy snack.

2. WING IT

A healthier alternative to deep-fried Buffalo wings is a baked version. Once the chicken is baked, simply add hot sauce and enjoy.

3. FORGET THE LOADED NACHOS

Replace cheesy nachos with a colorful platter of low-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers, and colorful vegetables with a Greek-yogurt-based dip.

4. BEST CHIPS EVER

Do you think home-made potato chips sound too time-consuming? Think again! To make your own sour cream and onion potato chips, cut a large baking potato (either Russet or Idaho) into 1/8th inch thick slices. Arrange one third of the potato slices in a single layer on a large microwave-safe plate. Coat the tops of the potato slices with cooking spray, and sprinkle one-third of a packet of dry ranch dressing mix over them. Microwave the uncovered plate on high for 4 minutes, turn over the potato slices, and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, or until the chips appear dried, crispy, and begin to brown. Remove the chips from the plate and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Repeat this procedure with the remaining potato slices and enjoy.

5. SLOPPY SLIDERS

While the taste brings back memories of childhood, the nutrition here is all grown up.  Make Sloppy Sliders using 95% lean ground meat and add mashed kidney beans for additional protein and fiber. Spice your sliders to taste, serve them on mini whole-grain buns, and top them with diced tomatoes to complete this delicious, healthy snack.

EXTRA POINTS

Still worried you may over-stuff yourself with healthy game-day snacks? For many people, the out of sight, out of mind trick works. Sit away from the food table, and focus on the game. Cheering for your favorite team takes a lot of energy and may even burn some extra calories

Here’s another tip. Take a small plate and fill it with the snacks you will enjoy during the game. Remember your meal plan, portion sizes, and resist going back for seconds. Eat slowly and spread your snacks throughout the game to help with portion control.

You may think tailgating and healthy eating may not go together, but a few changes to your favorite football snacks will ensure your diet plan is a winning play.

Brought to you by Patient First.