The leaves on the trees are now golden yellow, orange and bright red, which means fall has definitely made its presence known. Neighborhoods are decorated with haystacks, spooky Halloween decorations and although the sun is shining, the air is crisp. This change in season also brings football season and a good opportunity to cheer on your favorite team in the company of friends and family.
Many of these parties are fraught with calorie dense foods, from gooey cheesy appetizers to gooey sugary desserts. Below are some great ideas for healthy celebrations.
If you are grilling at your next football party:
- Try grilling chicken and vegetable kabobs. Marinade the chicken ahead of time, put them on skewers, place them in a sealed container or bag and refrigerate until you are ready to grill them.
- Make ground turkey burgers instead of ground beef burgers or try veggie burgers which offer many different varieties of flavors from harvest garden burgers to spicy black bean burgers.
- Try grilling fish. Salmon and tuna are great grilling favorites.
- Vegetables. Grilled vegetables are delicious and healthy.
- Fruit. Yes, you can grill fruit too.
- Try making different types of meatballs and offer these as well.
For appetizers, sure you can place a platter of summer sausage, cheese and crackers on the table but why not kick it up a notch and offer one of these instead:
- Greek platter: Greek black olives, fresh mozzarella mini balls, hummus and toasted whole wheat pita bread pieces.
- Try slicing up some fresh tomatoes and put them on a plate. Place a fresh basil leaf on top and a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese on top. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- A platted showcasing a variety of nuts and dried fruit.
- Warm black bean dip with corn tortilla chips.
- Popcorn is a popular snack for kids and grown-ups! Try seasoning the popcorn with a variety of spices!
- Strawberries and yogurt dip.
- Guacamole and tortilla chips.
For dessert try something other than cakes, pies and cookies. Instead consider:
- A fresh fruit platter or a fruit salad.
- Pumpkin mousse (try this recipe)
- Carmelized apple tostadas make use of the abundance of apples this time of the year (try this recipe)
- Roasted pears are a delicious and wonderful dessert that is easy to make (try this recipe)
Remember that these parties are really about celebrating with friends and family, cheering your team and having a good time; it’s not all about the food. If you splurge, just be conscious of other calorie-dense foods offered the rest of the day. If you slip up, do not get down on yourself, don’t focus just on what you did in one meal, but consider how you approach food throughout an entire day.