"Most concession stands, tailgates, and viewing parties are guilty of offering high-calorie foods," says Ashley Martinez, MFN, RDN, LD, culinary dietitian at Kroger Health. "Being surrounded by all of this can make it difficult to stick to healthy habits, but it’s all about changing the way we think about food."
The last thing you want to do is waste time stressing about the health factor of the spread in front of you when instead you should be rooting for your favorite team. Enjoying a portion of that buffalo chicken dip is not a bad thing—we promise—but by adding a few healthy game day snacks to the table, you'll be able to focus more on who's winning and less on what you're eating.
To make sure you're watch party-ready, we asked Martinez to share some suggestions for healthy ingredient swaps to transform your favorite party foods into healthy game day snacks with no extra effort. Bonus: You can find all her suggestions at Kroger, and by downloading the OptUP app, you can view additional ingredient swaps that are personalized to you the next time you head to the store.
Keep scrolling for 3 healthy game day snacks that everyone at the watch party will love.
1. Burrito Bowls
While they're already one of the healthier game day foods you can serve (assuming you add as many veggies to your bowl as you do cheese and sour cream), using quinoa and brown rice (OptUP: 82) instead of white rice gives you extra fiber and protein.
"Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs to survive," Martinez says.
Try Kroger's Simple Truth 90 Second Quinoa and Brown Rice (yes, it really only takes 90 seconds to prepare) to give your bowl a boost. Oh, and speaking of sour cream, Kroger has a new Simple Truth plant-based sour cream that's perfect for topping them with.
2. Chips and Dip
When you can't keep your hands out of the chip bowl (or your eyes away from the screen), Kroger's Simple Truth Plant Based French Onion Dip is a healthier option compared to your typical dip, Martinez says, because it's made using butter beans and oats rather than sour cream.
For extra (chickpea) brownie points, prepare a big platter of veggies for dipping, too. And if French onion isn't your thing, Kroger's guac and hummus are also better-for-you options.
3. Pasta Salad
No game day is complete without a pasta salad, but the potluck classic can leave you feeling a bit sluggish (anyone else?). The last thing you want is to miss any of the commercials because you dozed off for a bit, so to fight that mid-game slump, use Simple Truth Red Lentil Quinoa Fusilli (OptUP: 100), which is higher in protein and fiber than regular white pasta.
"Protein provides satiety, which means you will fill up faster," says Martinez. "This is not only a nutrient dense product, but also a great option for those trying to manage portions." So you'll get your fill, and stay awake long enough to find out who won.
And if you really want to keep your healthy-swap momentum going, you can set up a virtual consultation with a Kroger dietitian to get even more personalized nutrition recommendations on top of the assistance from the OptUP app. Basically, the players on your screen aren't the only ones who have a whole team supporting their goals.
Sponsored by Kroger Health
Top photo: Bonninstudio
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