The Super Bowl is just around the corner, and you are excited to host the gang at your house this year. As you prepare your party menu, you realize that the most popular Super Bowl foods also are the ones that will do the most damage to your healthy eating plans. But how do you feed the masses something they will love without loading up on empty calories? Gina DeVito, registered dietitian and certified dietitian-nutritionist for Forme Urgent Care and Wellness Center in White Plains, N.Y., shares her tips for serving up healthy and great tasting Super Bowl snacks that will leave your guests satisfied.
1. Mini burgers: “Choose 80-percent lean meats or better,” DeVito advises. “Turkey burgers are a great option. Build these bite-size snacks on whole grain mini buns or in wraps with fresh veggie toppings.”
2. Guacamole: “Be sure to read the ingredients list,” DeVito says. “The freshest guacamole will have mostly vegetables and seasoning. Avoid products that use terms like ‘flavoring’ or ‘dip’ and beware of preservatives and sugars.”
3. Tortilla Chips: When shopping for this Super Bowl standard, DeVito says baked and whole grain varieties are best. “Choose plain, lightly salted chips, and rely on dips and sauces for flavor,” she says.
4. Salsa: This party staple can be found in many varieties, so DeVito suggests mixing things up by adding diced peaches or mangoes to a plain salsa for a sweet, unique twist.
5. Chicken Wings: “Broiling, grilling or baking chicken wings is a tasty, yet healthier preparation method for this traditional football food,” DeVito says. “Lighten up the wing sauce by making your own and using less butter or simply use hot sauce on its own.”
6. Mini Wraps: “Spinach and whole wheat wraps can be used in a variety of ways,” DeVito says. “Fill them with a lean meat or fish like turkey, chicken or tuna, and add lettuce, tomatoes and banana peppers. Leave them undressed and provide low-fat vinaigrettes or spicy mustard on the side.”
7. Popcorn: “Air-popped popcorn is a super-light, inexpensive snack that’s great for guilt-free grazing,” DeVito says. “Try topping it with hot sauce, sprinkles of Parmesan cheese, and/or sweet or savory seasonings.
8. Trail Mix: Available already mixed, trail mix is a great snack that satisfies both sweet and salty cravings. Consider purchasing the nuts and dried fruit of your choice, and making it yourself, DeVito says. “Make it extra sweet by adding dark chocolate chips and shredded coconut,” she adds.
9. Antipasto Platter: “For the healthiest option, call ahead and request to swap out some of the fatty meats and cheeses for roasted peppers and grilled vegetables for a more balanced platter,” DeVito says.
10. Bruschetta: Add more vegetables to your Super Bowl meal with this simple, veggie-based topping for whole wheat crackers, cucumber slices or toasted crostinis, DeVito says. “Great when paired with other toppings like hummus and guacamole,” she says.
11. Greek Yogurt Dip: “Bring a fresh fruit platter to life with a tangy Greek yogurt dip,” DeVito says. “Nonfat, plain yogurt will be the healthiest option; add some sweetness by mixing in a small amount of honey or agave nectar.”
12. Shrimp Cocktail: Fresh shrimp is a great way to add some protein to the table. “Stick to cocktail sauce and lemon on the side to keep it low-calorie, as opposed to mayonnaise-based remoulades,” DeVito says.
13. Hummus: DeVito says hummus has grown in popularity, with many varieties now available at most grocery stores. “Buying plain hummus and adding in your own spicy seasonings or diced veggies is another option,” she adds.
14. Fruit Pops: “Look for natural frozen fruit pops with no added sugar, or blend frozen fruit to make your own for a refreshing treats,” DeVito says. “Whether purchasing or preparing, fruit should be the main ingredient (first listed on the label).”