16 Healthy Game Day Snacks — Perfect for Any Party or Tailgate
It’s easy to eat your weight in chips and guac — and pizza, and wings, and improbable concoctions of cheese, mayonnaise, and bacon — while watching football.
We won’t tell you how many calories are in a piece of fried chicken and a vat of french onion dip. You already know that it’s a lot.
That kind of overindulgence in calories and saturated fat can sideline your fitness goals. And the binge is more likely to carry over into the following day if your team is not victorious.
But eating healthy on game day doesn’t have to mean scrounging for a few bare celery sticks from the buffalo chicken platter. You can bring the winning football snack to the party, or crush the tailgate with something everyone actually wants to eat.
We put together a list of truly tempting, healthy football party snacks that are everything you’d expect to eat while watching football. You’ll find whole-food versions of nachos, queso, sliders, and appetizers that can be made in a crock pot or thrown on a grill for perfect tailgate snacks. There are even a couple of treats for your post-game sweet-tooth.
Healthy Football Snacks
One of the easiest football snacks to make also happens to be everyone’s favorite. Guacamole, FTW. Serve with baked corn tortilla chips and bell pepper slices.
Once you’ve tried these nachos made with spiced cauliflower instead of tortilla chips, you will never want to go back. It’s amazing that they taste even better this way.
Garlic and Parmesan cheese make these baked sweet potato fries taste more indulgent than they actually are, while packing a hefty nutrition punch of vitamin A, potassium and fiber.
These finger-licking good cauliflower “wings” may not be traditional football party fare — yet — but we can all agree that they should be. Yum.
Raw veggie sticks at a football viewing party? Been there, done that. Kick it up a notch with crunchy jicama sticks drizzled with lime juice and chili powder. Also try this with thick cucumber slices!
Buh-bye, greasy buffalo wings. From now on, it’s all about these baked chicken meatballs topped with buffalo sauce and a Greek yogurt blue cheese sauce. Make these even healthier by using whole wheat panko crumbs.
The creator of this recipe calls them “meaty, juicy, smoky, a little spicy… and a total mess to eat.” That sounds just right for game night. Choose a whole grain option for your bun and look for ketchup with little to no added sugar. Annie’s Naturals and Simply Heinz Tomato are two great options.
No cooking is needed to whip up this party favorite that doubles as a side dish and a dip.
Keep it clean and simple with a bowl of air-popped popcorn (season with spices like turmeric, garlic powder, cinnamon, or dried herbs) and apple slices dipped in nut butter.
Don’t let the name fool you. You can go ahead and call these ooey-gooey, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly chocolate bombs “brownies” and no one will be the wiser.
Sack your sweet tooth with one of these rich, vanilla and date energy balls coated in shredded coconut.
Best Tailgate Snacks
Be a tailgating champion with chicken skewers marinated overnight in a sweet, garlicky sauce featuring dark porter beer. In the morning, just fire up the grill, toss them on, and you will have already won the game.
A pot of spicy, melted queso is an easy crowd-pleaser, whether you’re tailgating or catching the game in your living room. This stealthy vegan version replaces the usual processed cheese with a clever combination of cashews and roasted cauliflower.
Chili, especially the kind that slowly cooks for hours in a slow cooker, infusing all of the ingredients with flavor, is a staple football tailgate food.
Serve this lean pulled chicken simply topped with coleslaw, or pile it onto whole-grain rolls.
Choose an all-natural barbecue sauce for this super simple baked beans recipe to score extra points.