Football tailgates aren’t traditionally pillars of health. Of course, all those cheesesteaks and burgers can take a break once in a while. Let’s give a little room for healthy tailgating food that’s still incredibly delicious!
Put creative spins on all your favorite tailgate food ideas for a healthier approach. (Your stomach will thank you!)
How do you eat healthy at a tailgate?
Eating healthy at a tailgate isn’t easy! First, you’ll have so much food around you and second is the beer! Try to balance what you eat and drink while tailgating for your own health and comfort. Go for whole foods when possible and try lighter beers or seltzers. Try a little bit of everything rather than huge portions.
You can also graze throughout the event rather than plowing through all the courses all at once.
What are some healthy tailgate foods?
Salads, fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, and non-processed foods are all healthy choices at a tailgate. Consider limiting heavy carbs, too, or going roll-free. You can enjoy most things in moderation while balancing with healthy whole foods.
Planning a Healthy Tailgate Menu
With a little advanced planning, you can come up with a healthy tailgating menu ahead of the big game!
Food Safety – Consider the food preferences, allergies, and aversions of those in your party. Avoid any major allergens and try to create a menu boasting a variety of flavors and textures.
Ease of Prep – Lean on cold tailgating food for easy, no-heat options or use your tailgating grill to reheat anything you make and bring from home.
Get Organized – Remember to bring utensils if needed for salads and such. Also plan for a way to transport leftovers home, such as zip-seal bags or containers.
Also, invite your friends to join the healthy tailgate potluck style!
Healthy Tailgating Food
Football parties usually involve lots of beer and hearty, flavorful, filling food. But, healthy tailgating food isn't off the table! Consider these delicious and healthy tailgate food ideas.
These Grilled Salmon Sliders are the perfect game day, weeknight dinner, or summertime snack! Made with fresh salmon grilled to perfection on mini brioche buns and topped with fresh greens and creamy lemon garlic aioli.
Prosciutto and melon is a classic antipasto, and with good reason. The combination of savory and salty cured Italian ham together with a sweet juicy cantaloupe complement each other so well, it’s a match made in heaven.
These BBQ Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders are the perfect balance of sweet and smoky. With juicy chicken Breast tenderloins inside the crispiest bacon covered in sticky sauce, you’re sure to devour them.
Caprese Tortellini Skewers with Balsamic Glaze are the perfect party appetizer! This no-bake appetizer can easily be made in 25 minutes! The combination of tomato and basil along with creamy mozzarella and cheesy tortellini is a perfect bite.
Classic Broccoli Salad is a quick and easy dish made with fresh broccoli, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, red onions, and a tangy dressing. This is tossed together in a large bowl and served cold as a side dish or appetizer at your next gathering.
Take the typical veggie to game day ready by serving up this football shaped veggie tray! Complete with broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper and more, it’s healthy and a fast tailgating snack you can make in advance and take on the go!
Fruit Pizza – This gorgeous fruit pizza is made with a soft sugar cookie crust then topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting and your choice of fresh fruit!
Healthy Tailgate Snacks
Besides the healthy tailgating food entrees and appetizers, you can also nail down a few low cal snacks. Here are a few suggestions:
Charcuterie Board / Cheese & Meat Platter
Fresh Fruit Tray
Beef Jerky or Homemade Venison Jerky
Fresh Mozzarella and Homegrown Tomatoes with Basil and Balsamic
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Tailgating the Healthy Way
Offering a few healthy tailgate appetizers or entrees here and there may help your football season figure. It’s an easy enough menu swap to rotate burgers, cheesesteaks, and big, hearty entrees every so often to include lighter fare.