The holidays are over, and while the unofficial season of overeating has wound down, it hasn’t entirely disappeared. With Sunday’s football parties promising tables full of chips and dip, you may be wondering how to make it through the ongoing food frenzy.
If you’ve overindulged in the past few months, you’re not alone. Your fellow party-goers are also likely to be struggling to minimize calorie-packed treats and to include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These five tips will help you make healthy Super Bowl food choices when you’re standing at the snack table.
Eat the MyPlate way.
MyPlate, the government’s symbol for healthy eating, suggests covering half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. Piling on the raw or cooked produce leaves less room for higher-calorie foods, fills you up so that you’re better able to fight temptation, and includes vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients – beneficial plant compounds – to support good health.
BYOH (Bring your own healthy Super Bowl food)
You can’t control what’s being served at the party or at a friend or relative’s house, so take at least one nutritious dish wherever you go. Chances are, everyone will be happy to have healthier options, and you’ll feel better about getting the good nutrition you need. Rely on Eat Smart Salad Kits for a quick, delicious, and impressive vegetable dish. Vegetable trays, such as the Celebration Tray with Snap Peas, are also a popular and healthy Super Bowl food choice. Use the Store Locator to pick one up on your way to the big game.
Eat only what you love.
You’re dying for a bite of nachos, or maybe you can’t wait to bite into a juicy meatball, or sink your teeth into your Uncle Steve’s famous chili. Go ahead! Take small servings of these, and other, favorite Super Bowl foods. The first few bites of any food are the most pleasurable, so skip the big portions.
Don’t arrive ravenous.
Improve your chances of eating right at any gathering by taking the edge off your hunger before you go. Snacks that combine carbohydrate and protein, such as an apple and almond butter, a small bowl of whole grain cereal with milk, and a few whole grain crackers and a low-fat cheese stick, blunt your appetite and help you stay in better control.
Doggy bag it.
The hostess and other party guests may try to ply you with high-calorie foods, and you don’t want to insult them by refusing. Praise their cooking and ask them if you can take the food home with you. Freeze your food gifts to have in small amounts later.
Elizabeth (Liz) Ward, MS, RD, is a freelance writer and nutrition consultant. She is the author of several books including her latest, My Plate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better. As a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) for nearly 10 years, Ward was featured in nearly 1,000 print and broadcast interviews, including CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe. She has also been a guest on NBC’s Today Show, the Dr. Oz Show, and appeared regularly live on the Morning News on Fox 25 in Boston for six years. Ward has been an invited speaker at more than 100 professional meetings. Ward lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children.