Start the party with a winning menu. Rather than loading up your guests with salty, greasy, and fatty foods while you watch the big game, serve feel-good alternatives without compromising taste. Check out these menu ideas that offer extra flavor without the extra fat.
Ditch the chips and pretzels! Start your guests off with a vegetable and fruit tray. Complement the veggies with a spinach or ranch dip made with low-fat, plain Greek yogurt. Feel free to get creative with your tray by forming it into the shape of a football, stadium, helmet, or field. Set out a bowl of lightly salted, unbuttered popcorn to snack on for some whole grain. Vary your appetizer selection with a platter of deviled eggs made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
Halftime Show: The Main Course
Instead of hotdogs and hamburgers, put a Tex-Mex spin on your menu with a taco bar. Set out tortillas, black bean and corn pico de gallo, lettuce, cilantro rice, low-fat shredded cheese, guacamole, salsa, and other toppings. Give your guests the protein options of pulled roast chicken and grilled tilapia.
Instead of ordering pizza, make a flatbread from scratch. Start with a whole wheat flour crust for a sneaky serving of whole grain and top with marinara or pesto sauce, a sprinkle of low-fat cheese, and a selection of optional toppings for your guests to customize their pies. Set out roasted veggies, grilled pineapple, tomato slices, avocado chunks, roasted chicken, and other favorites.
Instead of Buffalo wings, grill up lean meat and veggie skewers. Take lean cuts of beef or chicken, marinate with a vinaigrette, and alternate the meat with bell peppers, onions, and zucchini. Mix up a few batches of your favorite low-sugar sauces so your guests can choose the flavors they’re craving.
First Down: Drinks
Encourage guests to choose non-alcoholic drinks by offering a delicious punch, low-calorie sodas, and plenty of water bottles. For the punch, mix a citrus sparkling water with freshly squeezed fruit juices. Garnish with slices of your favorite fruits and keep chilled. If you do serve alcohol, keep the drinking under control with a few tricks.
Referee the drinking by not allowing your guests to mix their own. Instead, you can designate a responsible volunteer or yourself as the "bartender" or only provide premixed individual cocktails or self-serve punch. This way, you can better monitor how much alcohol your guests consume. Serve the drinks after your guests have eaten something; this slows the rate of alcohol absorption. Always make sure your guests have planned a safe ride home before serving alcohol, and never allow someone who has been drinking to drive, no matter how much he or she protests. Call 911 immediately if someone becomes unresponsive or exhibits signs of alcohol poisoning.
Have a football ready to throw around for some physical activity during halftime, and you’re all set! If you’re looking for ways to manage your weight or eat healthier based on your needs, consult your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician.
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Keeping Party Drinking Under Control
Health Tip: Enjoy a Heart-Healthy Football Meal