Planning your next big-game party? Serve healthier snack options and beverages for a guilt-free game day.
Serve healthy beverages
Forget the cola, and offer healthy beverage options instead.
- Limit sweet, carbonated drinks. It’ll help your guests cut back on empty calories.
- Try serving iced tea, flavored water, fresh juice with club soda and low-calorie beverages.
- How about a healthful sweet treat? Make smoothies! Just blend frozen fruit and yogurt or milk. Then, serve them up in miniature paper cups with colored straws.
- Keep plenty of ice on hand — not only does it keep drinks cold, it helps dilute sweet drinks.
Choose healthier ingredients
Some basic ingredients can be substituted for healthier options.
- Choose reduced-fat versions of milk, cheese and other dairy products.
- Depending on the recipe, replace sour cream with low-fat yogurt or low-fat cream cheese.
- Substitute half the butter or oil in a recipe with unsweetened applesauce.
- Use whole-wheat flour and whole grains instead of bleached, all-purpose flour.
- Cook with leaner proteins. Replace ground beef with ground chicken, and switch pork bacon for turkey bacon.
- Bake with natural sweeteners like honey and molasses instead of refined white sugar. Check packaging for substitution guidelines.
- Include organic foods and ingredients whenever possible.
Both adults and kids love nibbling on healthy finger foods.
- Create a dip bar. Add healthy choices like fresh salsa, turkey chili and yogurt dip.
- Cut easy-to-dip fresh fruits and vegetables into small cubes. They make great snacks!
- Serve low-fat cheese cubes and cheese sticks with whole-grain crackers.
- Try whole-grain pita bread and baked chips instead of regular potato chips.
- Grill bite-size pieces of vegetables and lean meat on skewers.
- Cut sandwiches into small, decorative shapes with cookie cutters.
Offer healthy desserts
Don’t skimp on flavor. Serve a variety of healthy yet delicious desserts.
- Create some walnut-topped yogurt-and-fruit parfaits. Walnuts contain heart-healthy fats.
- Serve low-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt and fruit sorbet.
- Experiment with healthy recipe alternatives before the big game. Try reduced-fat, reduced-calorie dessert recipes. This carrot-cake recipe uses fresh carrots, walnuts and applesauce. Top with low-fat cream-cheese frosting. Then, cut it into small squares instead of serving large pieces.
- Treat your kids to homemade popsicles. Just freeze juice and applesauce.
- Some guests won’t want dessert. Brew coffee or tea for an after-game treat; serve with skim milk instead of cream.
Practice good defense
Promote healthy eating habits on the sly.
- Choose baked over deep-fried foods whenever possible.
- Smaller plates encourage smaller portions. Serve food on dessert or appetizer plates instead of large paper plates.
- Offer a salad; serve reduced-fat or reduced-calorie dressing on the side.
- Serve small snacks with toothpicks or skewers instead of forks and spoons.
- Limit the amount of food displayed on platters and in bowls. Refill as needed.
- Don’t serve food directly in front of the TV. Your guests are less likely to overeat if they have to get up and move to snack.