Defend your waistline with football tailgating favorites

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ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Football season is finally here, which means it’s time to huddle around the big screen or kick off with your tailgating game-time favorites.  Super bowl Sunday is the second biggest food day of the year behind Thanksgiving according to the USDA.  And per the Calorie Control Council, cheering for your favorite teams each week may pack on the pounds with game time munchies adding anywhere from 1,200 to 2,400 extra calories including fan favorites such as chips, wings, pizza and beer. Tackle weight gain this football season with some game-day tips to defend your waistline.

Use your “safeties” by including healthy favorites with a twist

Offer healthy favorites with a unique twist such as a veggie tray with a chipotle ranch dip made with Greek yogurt or a fruit tray with chai spice Greek yogurt dip.

Be the quarterback and execute a successful pass by lightening game day favorites

Pass on the delivery pizza and wings that are high in calories, fat, and sodium.  Make changes to typical plays and offer a make their own mini pizza bar or zesty homemade chicken tenders!

Make like a defensive lineman and keep foods away from the TV

By placing foods in another room you block or decrease the opportunity for mindless eating during the game.  This requires guests to fill up a plate before sitting in front of the tube and be more cognizant of how much they have consumed.

Think about “special teams” for your game-day brew

Mix up your drinks during the game – alternate between beer and calorie free beverages to kick excess calories in half.

Join the game and add some activity

Every time your team has a first down, do 10 jumping jacks; each field goal do 10 squats; did your team score a touchdown? Stand up and do your celebratory dance!  Create friendly competition by keeping a scorecard – loser does the dishes!

Football games are a great time to get family and friends together; score big points this football season with these healthy tips come game-day.

  

Veggies & Chipotle Ranch Dip

INGREDIENTS:

•Assorted sliced veggies

•16 oz. fat-free Greek yogurt

•1 packet of Ranch dip

•1 Tbsp. chipotle Tabasco or more as desired

DIRECTIONS:

1. Slice up your favorite veggies such as carrots, celery, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes

2. Mix Greek yogurt, ranch dip, and Tabasco

Fruit & Chai Spice Yogurt Dip

INGREDIENTS:

•Assorted sliced fruit (if you slice apples, squeeze lemon juice or orange juice on top to prevent browning)

•16 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt

•1 tsp cinnamon

•1/4 tsp cardamom

•1/4 tsp ginger

•1/4 tsp nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:

1. Slice up your favorite fruit into bite size pieces

2. Mix yogurt, with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg

Build Your Own Mini pizzas

INGREDIENTS:

•English muffins or sandwich thins

•BBQ sauce or tomato pasta sauce

•Cheese

•Veggies (mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, spinach, onion, etc.)

•Proteins (chicken, peperoni, Canadian bacon)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Set oven to 375 degrees or grill hot

2. Slice muffin in half

3. Add sauce and spread

4. Sprinkle cheese

5. Choose toppings

6. Bake in oven for 10 min or until cheese is melted

(Find the YouTube-version of this article at https://youtu.be/w9KvHAHuFx4.)

Another important rule to remember is the 40-140 rule. Keep cold foods at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and keep hot foods at or above 140 degree Fahrenheit.

For more food safety tips when preparing for game day or when serving over an extended amount of time, visit foodsafety.gov or call the meat and poultry hotline at 1-800-MPhotline (1-800-674-6854).