New Hope-Based Dietitian Has Tips For Healthier Football Season Snacking
Football season is here, ready or not.
Some fans are more ready than others when it comes to food preparation for watch parties or, of course, tailgating. But health experts say that doesn’t automatically mean your goals go away.
“[Fans] think there’s too many rules already in the game, but when it comes to the table, those go right out the window,” said Alea Lester Fite, a registered dietitian who works for Hy-Vee and is based in New Hope. “There’s definitely ways to do those watch parties, do that tailgating, but keep things within reason and also help keep yourself on track.”
Lester Fite recommends alternatives to crunchy favorites like potato or corn chips by recommending several nut chips or even vegan or dairy-free varieties of snacks that still have that satisfying crunch and come in a variety of flavors–and are easy to dip into foods like hummus or salsa.
As for fan favorite charcuterie boards, Lester Fite recommends alternative trays that still allow for easy snacking during the game.
“Trays are super-easy. You can do vegetable trays, you can do fruit trays,” she said. “You can get those pre-made, you can make them yourself, also very easily.”
As for meat or other staples at parties, Lester Fite recommends using an air fryer to prepare those items.
“You can make chicken wings, you can make burgers. I’ve made an entire chicken in the air fryer before. Potatoes can go in the air fryer,” she said. “It’s a great way to cook some of that protein without adding oil.”
She also said grilling is a way to prep your favorite foods–while the weather in Minnesota still allows.
“We still have a little wiggle room with grilling. You can throw corn or any kind of protein on the grill, a great lean way to cook things.
The bottom line, experts say, is not straying from your plans.
“Don’t skip any meals ahead of the party, either, because it gets harder to control your portions. It doesn’t work that way,” said Lester Fite. “Calories are not rollover minutes. It’s important to stay on your regular meal pattern so that you’re not overly starving by the time you get to the party, it’s easier to control those portions.”