Let’s Make Our Tailgating Fun But Nutritious!

By DeDe Hausmann

When we think of attending college and professional football games, foods that can be enjoyed via TAILGATING immediately come to mind.   It’s fun to get together with buddies before the BIG GAME and food always comes into play.

When planning the menu, you DO know that nutrition and good tasting can go hand-in-hand?  RIGHT?!!!!  Many might be trying to live a more healthy lifestyle so who wants to blow it on the weekend?!!!!  There are many great foods/beverages that are very tasty and still can be nutritious.

When thinking of meat or protein foods, think LEAN.  Many sausages and other processed meat products are produced in reduced-fat varieties.  READ PACKAGE LABELS before purchasing and try to go with those that are lower in fat, such as chicken or turkey sausages, brats, etc.  How about grilling turkey burgers?

I bet your friends won’t even know the difference.  Buy whole grain buns or tortillas to serve with your burgers or brats.  Other foods high in protein include cottage cheese and Greek yogurt and these can be made into great fruit and veggie dips.

Speaking of fruits and vegetables, have loads available.  Keep them icy cold and serve with dairy dips.   OR spread a whole-wheat tortilla with a yogurt/seasoning  mixture, add bits or thin slices of broccoli, carrots, and cucumbers, top with shredded low-fat cheese and then place another tortilla on top.  Heat, cut into quarters, and ENJOY!!!!  Ever try grilled fruit?  Grill over low heat pineapple, apple, banana or pear slices dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg.  YOU WON’T BELIEVE THE FLAVOR!!!  Or grill fruit kabobs and serve with vanilla yogurt as a dip.


Are you salivating yet?!!!!  Since it’s fall what better time to serve cold or hot Apple Cider besides those other beverages that TV seems to think are necessities for tailgating.  Also consider serving reduced-fat CHOCOLATE MILK, either hot or cold, for those that love chocolate but don’t need additional calories and care about nutrition—hey, it’s packed with 9 essential nutrients so go for it!!!!  Make sure to have lots of water available.

Dessert anyone?  If you serve treats, make servings SMALL.   If someone is really craving a sweet, they might be able to satisfy that urge with a mini brownie, cupcake, etc.

See, TAILGATING can be fun and still be nutritious.  Don’t tell your guests how healthy they are eating and just let the compliments fly before you surprise them with YOUR SECRET: what they are enjoying is good for them!!!  You’ll be the host/hostess with the MOSTEST!!!

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