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Make SuperBowl Sunday Healthy | January 30, 2014

When the words Super Bowl Sunday are said, what comes to mind?  How about Football, Family, Friends and Food?  It is estimated that the average avid football fan eats about a day’s worth of calories (3,000) during the game.  The U.S. Calorie Control Council estimated that Americans consume more than 11 million pounds of chips while participating in the festivities.

So, how can we keep traditional snacks, but also intercept those pesky empty calories before they score a touchdown in our end zone?  Well, we put up a good defense by eliminating their chance altogether and making those snacks trade out of the, say, lighter third-string players, the substitutes.  With this third string of snacks, you will be able watch the Super Bowl without worrying about the food football game going on in your mouth.

We know that we still want to stick to our traditional snacks to keep everyone happy, so why not make them over toward healthier versions?  For starters, try making ranch dip with fat-free Greek yogurt dip.  We did a taste test with a group of women earlier this year and none of them could tell the difference between the higher fat ranch dip and that made with Greek yogurt.  In fact, many like the Greek yogurt version better.  S3ervie this with cucumbers, broccoli, and cauliflower, mix in some carrots and celery, and you have yourself a yummy healthy veggie dip.

What about the usual twice baked potatoes?  Substitute reduced-fat sour cream or even fat-free, and add vegetables and vegetarian chili as toppings.  This will still give you the usual twice-baked potatoes that your guests are excited about, but cut back on the calories and add some essential nutrients for the body.

Pizza is another customary Super Bowl Sunday snack, but instead of the thick, greasy pizza that you would normally get, try a homemade loaded flatbread pizza!  This is where you can let your creative side free and experiment with different types of pizzas.  You can pick up the flatbread at any grocery store, in the pizza section.  One of my personal favorites is to take whole wheat flatbread, add pizza sauce and reduce-fat cheese, top with basil leaves, sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, chicken or turkey sausage, and sprinkle a bit of minced garlic and Italian seasoning over the top.  Then throw this delicious creation into the oven and you have yourself a loaded flatbread pizza.  You can make several of these for you friends and family without much work.

These are just a few ideas that will help you to eat healthier on one of the biggest Sundays of the year.  For more ideas, I would suggest looking online for a healthy appetizers cookbook or some quick, easy recipes.  Here is one of our favorite sites:  www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/healthy_super_bowl_appetizer_recipes.  At minimum, try taking some of your usual recipes and substituting ingredients with reduced fat or whole-grain products.

With simple changes, you can make a Super Healthy Super Bowl!