Commence tailgating

Published 5:43 am Sunday, September 14, 2014

TailgatingThe first week of the NFL and college football action in the books officially marks the start of the accompanying pastime of tailgating — though many of you have already taken it up.

Tailgating is rarely complicated, filled with things that can, quite literally, be eaten off a tailgate of a truck or in a parking lot.

With brats and burgers, chips and dips, Hy-Vee nutritionist Jena Pape said it’s also possible to remain healthy while still enjoying your favorites.

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“[Look at] lighter options and use portion control,” Pape said. “Common foods are meats, hamburgers, hot dogs, but you can choose the lighter alternatives: lighter ground beef, whole grain buns instead of plain white buns.”

Pape also suggests trying to add fruits and vegetables.

“There are ways to make healthier alternatives and include foods that taste good,” she said.


5 Tips for a Healthier Tailgate

Choose lean cuts of meat

•When shopping for lean cuts of meat, look for keywords such as “loin” or “round” in the name.

•Consider chicken brats, ground turkey or vegetarian burgers for something new.

Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables

•Get into the spirit by using your team colors to make fruit and vegetable kabobs to serve with a hummus or yogurt dip

•Offer a variety of veggie toppings like tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, avocadoes and lettuce.

Consider simple substitutions

•Nonfat Greek yogurt will add protein to potato or macaroni salad when used in place of mayonnaise.

•Make your own ranch dip with Greek yogurt and ranch seasoning.

•Instead of high fat dips, offer hummus or a black bean dip.

Offer Whole Grains

•Whether it be buns for burgers or hotdogs, pasta for salads, or crackers for appetizers; offer whole grain options.

Remember Portion Control

•Pre-portion foods before serving to take away the temptation of overeating.

•Don’t leave food sit out all day; remember “out of sight, out of mind.” Once everyone has been served, put food away to avoid going back for seconds or thirds.