January 30, 2020 - 12:01am -- brown.5517@osu.edu

Game Day - Smart SnackingWith college basketball in full swing and the Superbowl around the corner, many Ohioans are spending weekends watching sports with friends and family. Often, these events involve snacking, since many game day traditions revolve around food. Many typical game day snacks, such as bacon ranch dip or fried chicken wings, are high in fat and sodium. Consider these guidelines for providing healthier snack choices at your upcoming viewing party:

Substitute soda for water or juice.

If your plate is full of indulgent food, selecting a healthy drink can help balance it out. Instead of drinking a high sugar soda, try making your own drink with seltzer water, lemon juice, and lime juice. Choosing a 100% fruit juice satisfies a sweet tooth and provides nutrients. Of course, water is always the healthiest option!

Try a yogurt-based dip.

Many chip and cracker dips are made with mayonnaise or sour cream, both of which are high in fat yet lack nutrition benefits. Using unflavored, low-fat yogurt as a base for dips cuts calories and gives you a boost of calcium without sacrificing taste. Consider adding ranch powder to nonfat Greek yogurt and serving it with whole grain crackers instead of chips.

Add vegetables to a traditional game day staple.

Many typical game day dishes can be enhanced with the addition of vegetables, which contain valuable nutrients and fiber. Eating vegetables also helps you fill up faster yet eat less. One option is subbing out chips with crunchy vegetables such as carrots or celery to use with your favorite dip. Another option is cutting back on the amount of wings you make, and making buffalo cauliflower to supplement them. You can make buffalo cauliflower by tossing raw cauliflower pieces in buffalo sauce, then roasting in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Check out this buffalo chicken recipe from Celebrate Your Plate that includes three different kind of vegetables but doesn’t lack the savory features!

Use small plates and keep food in a separate location.

While watching TV, it is natural to be distracted and continue eating when you are no longer hungry, because the food is right in front of you. You can avoid this by using a small plate and keeping the food in a different area of the party so it is not within reach. When you are glued to the couch cheering for your favorite team, you won’t want to make multiple trips back to the food table to refill your plate unless you are actually hungry.

Making just one of these changes for the next big game is a guilt-free way to enjoy your favorite tailgate foods! Go Buckeyes!

By Nina Hoffmeyer