November 10, 2020
No matter what team you cheer for this fall, there’s one place you probably won’t be watching your favorite football team: in a stadium. Thanks to COVID-19, the 2020 football season isn't like any we've seen before. With limited seating at the games and social distancing guidelines ruling out crowded bars, watching the game just doesn't feel the same.
But not every gameday tradition is benched for the year; you can still put out a decadent spread while you cheer on your team. Here’s a roster of healthy snacks delicious enough to delight your fellow fans:
Before the game actually gets going, put out a bunch of healthy snacks. Crudité is always a favorite, and raw vegetables are loaded with important nutrients: ensure your platter has broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and tomatoes for a wide variety of nutrients, color, and flavor. You can pair an arrangement of fresh crudité with a yogurt dip — there are many recipes, all of which will promote digestive health, thanks to the beneficial bacteria in yogurt.
Guacamole is another great dip to serve prior to the coin toss. Avocado is packed with nutrients, including healthy fats, vitamin K, and a low amount of carbohydrates. Instead of tortilla or potato chips, serve the guacamole with plantains — they are much richer in fiber and vitamins. These are snacks so delicious your guests won’t even realize the health benefits associated with them. And, of course, keep out a non-salted nut mix: roasted nuts are packed with healthy fats, too.
Once you get into the game, you’ll want food ideas that are a bit heftier. Stuffed peppers are a great place to start: the peppers themselves have some great benefits such as being full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. More importantly, you can stuff them with virtually anything: a mix of lean meat with vegetables is delicious, and provides a plate packed with nutrients.
For even more protein, consider putting out some chicken skewers. Grilled chicken is lean and healthy, and a great alternative to wings. You can season them with a Mediterranean spice mix prior to cooking, and pair with any assortment of dipping sauces; herb-based options are zesty and healthy.
Tacos are always a crowd-pleaser during the game, but for a healthier alternative, try lettuce wraps instead. A good lettuce wrap gives you the opportunity to be creative with fillings and toppings — chicken, beef, or lamb are all great options, and unique condiments such as ground peanuts or pickled vegetables can make for a memorable plate that’s light on the carbs and fat usually hidden in tacos.
Just because the clock hits 0:00 doesn’t mean you need to head for the exits. Dark chocolate makes for a great base ingredient in any postgame snack: it’s packed with antioxidants and is low in fact, unlike other kinds of chocolate. A fruit plate can also make for a naturally sweet dessert arrangement while you recap the game and lament the state of your fantasy roster.
It wouldn’t be gameday without a few beverages throughout the day. To keep things a little healthier — and moderate — consider swapping out the beer for a couple glasses of red wine. Wine is believed to promote cardiovascular health, and it will allow you to unwind while avoiding the carbs in each can of beer. And, of course, make sure you hydrate, especially if you’re driving.
There’s a lot about gamedays that looks different this season. While you start to create new traditions away from the tailgate, consider switching up the menu, too. If nothing else, you’ll feel a whole lot better the next day.