Watching the big football game with your friends is always fun, but traditional game-day snacks (hot dogs, nachos, etc.) are unhealthy. To promote good eating habits at home and give your children more nutritious options, try mixing up your snack options. Here are some finger foods to serve during the football game that are flavorful and healthy:
For some reason, food just tastes a little better when it’s on a stick (especially as a kid). Fruit skewers can replace the traditional corn dog as the favorite skewered food. To make this snack a bit more fun, use small cookie cutters to create shapes out of the fruit. Layer different types and colors of produce onto the skewers to create a rainbow that kids will instantly be drawn to.
Instead of regular fries, which are fried and greasy, make a healthier option using zucchini. By covering this veggie in bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, you’re giving it lots of flavor. Also, baking the fries in the oven makes this treat healthier but still gives it that crisp texture. Serve these tasty sticks with a small bowl of marinara sauce for dipping and enjoy!
Popcorn is the perfect healthy snack to set out for your kids, and the best part is you can create a wide combination of flavors. For example, make an almond butter version that’s a little sweeter for the kids and a spicy buffalo version for the adults. Feel free to get really creative with this snack and try your own spice combinations. You might want to experiment with cinnamon and apples or garlic salt and butter. The options are nearly endless!
For a more substantial snack, make some healthy quesadillas. The key to achieving this more nutritious version is to use whole grain tortillas, low-fat cheese and other toppings that are good for you. For example, add slices of bell pepper, cooked quinoa, fresh spinach and rinsed black beans for a filling, delicious snack. For adults, you can add all of these toppings, but for your kids, you may want to stick to a simple cheese quesadilla with maybe one or two other items.
Eating all of these delicious snacks is going to make your kiddos thirsty, so make sure you have plenty of drink options available. Set out a cup specifically for your child to use, and remind him or her to take sips from it throughout game day – this way, you’ll know your son or daughter is staying hydrated. Another option would be to give your children a kids’ drink they love. However, don’t choose one that’s full of sugar and calories. Instead, pick a healthy hydration option, like AquaBall. This zero-calorie beverage is flavorful and contains a natural sweetener, so you can stick to your healthy game day theme.
Healthy cooking techniques
As you create your game-day menu, try working in healthy cooking techniques to ensure your food is nutritious. Here are a few ideas to use:
Bake instead of fry
Frying foods entails dipping them into a vat of oil. While the food might taste delicious afterward, that’s a whole lot of fat that a child’s body (and your own!) doesn’t need. Instead, bake your recipes – this cuts out all that extra grease.
Choose low-fat options
When you’re picking up ingredients at the grocery store, always choose the low- or no-fat option. It cuts out unnecessary extra calories and will make your recipe that much better for you.
Skip the yolk
You’ve probably read healthy recipes that state you should only use egg whites. Do you know why, though? The yolk of an egg is said to raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. However, the white is full of beneficial proteins.
Try making some of the snacks suggested for your game-day event, while using a few of these healthy-cooking techniques. You’ll love serving your friends and family food that is delicious but still nutritious.