Lighten Up Your Party Fare This Football Season

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It’s that time of the year again! Football season is starting and if you’re like us, you love hosting football parties at your house or tailgating before the game. But what if you’re trying to avoid all those heavy, fatty snacks? Let’s face it- when you think football, you think food. And that food usually includes chips, cheesy sauces, fried food and beer. Football snacks are not usually on the top 10 healthy foods list.

Serving hummus and vegetables just doesn’t cut it here. But there are ways you can disguise your usual football food to look cool and manly, while cutting out some fat and calories. So, whether you’re hosting your own or simply looking for the best tailgating foods to bring along, we’ve got you covered.


For low-calorie dips without sacrificing flavor, try our Crunchy Vegetable Dip,  Southwest Shrimp Dip,  or Santa Fe Hot Bean Dip. has a great recipe  for a Southwestern Layered Bean Dip that is full of veggies and made with reduced-calorie sour cream.

Serve along with your regular chip selection, but add veggies and pretzels for a healthier option.


As for the chili, substitute lean ground breast meat for beef and use black beans, low-fat sour cream or greek yogurt and low-fat cheese. You can usually sneak veggies into the chili to bulk it up- try diced carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, and corn.

Try this Low-Fat Turkey Chili recipe- it’s easy to adjust based on your preferences.


When it’s time to hit the BBQ, consider Grilled Chicken Kebabs with fresh peppers, mushrooms and onions as opposed to the greasy chicken wings.


For snacks to munch on during the game, serve air-popped popcorn, low-sodium pretzels and trail mix with a variety of nuts and dried fruit. These are easy to throw in a bowl without loading on the calories.

Drinks and Dessert

No football party is complete without drinks and dessert. Whip up one of these 5 favorite skinny cocktails from SHAPE Magazine, (yes, you can have beer too—just choose it right). For desserts, bring one of these easy dessert recipes also from SHAPE Magazine. Whether you love cheesecake, peanut butter bars or basic chocolate chip cookies, lower calorie desserts are great at the game. With these, no matter who wins, you win.

Need even more recipe ideas? Check out The Skinny on Low Cal’s Super Bowl Pinterest Board.

As long as there is football, there is going to be food. It’s up to you to think about creative ways to enjoy the game, have your friends over, and overtly or covertly, however you wish to do it, present healthier options during the game.

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

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