Do you want to lighten up your game-day spread, but worry that your guests will protest? You can tackle healthy eating and score a taste touchdown with party ideas like these.
Kick-off. Excite the crowd with these flavorful starters:
Offer finger foods like fresh fruit kabobs, veggies and low-fat dip, hummus with whole-wheat pita wedges, baked chips and salsa, and reduced-fat cheese cubes with whole-grain crackers.
Play defense against extra calories with strategic substitutions. For example, lighten up dips by using light sour cream or low-fat ranch dressing in place of regular versions.
Get cheers for these lightened-up nachos: Make a base of baked chips, then top with spoonfuls of fat-free refried beans, salsa, reduced-fat shredded Mexican-blend cheese, diced tomatoes, chopped peppers and sliced green onions.
Instead of the usual fried "wings," opt for oven-baked boneless, skinless chicken breast strips with barbecue sauce or low-fat blue cheese dressing for dipping.
First Quarter. Score points by serving a steaming pot of vegetable soup or a hearty chili made with lean ground beef or turkey breast, lots of tomatoes and a variety of beans. Nutrition won't get sacked when you make sandwiches on whole-grain bread with lean meats like turkey or ham, reduced-fat cheese, and lots of veggies. Serve reduced-calorie mayo or stone ground mustard as a spread. If pizza's on the menu, go light on the cheese and meat toppings, and heavy on the veggies.
Half-time. Bring the couch-potatoes to their feet! Work out like the pros by doing group jumping jacks, squats and lunges. Work in some stretches to loosen up arms and legs. Or, skip the half-time show and head outside to play a game of touch football.
Fourth Quarter. Wrap up a winning game-day party with delicious desserts. Serve sundaes made with reduced-fat ice cream and fruit toppings, or angel food cake topped with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Reduce some of the butter, oil or shortening in cakes, cookies, brownies and quick breads by substituting an equal amount of applesauce or prune puree. Some low-calorie sweeteners can replace sugar in baked goods—check the package to be sure.