Top 5 Better-for-You Football Party Swaps

Top 5 Better-for-You Football Party Swaps

by Ashley Martinez, MFN, RD, LD, NASM-CPT

The biggest game of the year is approaching, and with it come the nachos, wings, dips and other indulgent party snacks. But for those who are eating healthier, this day can be a bit daunting. If you’re looking for better-for-you football watch party swaps this season, no need to look any further – we’ve got you covered. These innovative substitutions are both flavorful and nutritious. Your guests will be sure to ask for the recipes after coming back for seconds!

1. Ricotta cheese for cream cheese

Buffalo chicken dip is the ultimate fan favorite at any party! One of the main ingredients in most buffalo dips is cream cheese. Replace cream cheese with ricotta cheese for more protein, less sodium and less fat without sacrificing the creamy texture. No one will know the difference.

2. Grilled chicken wings for fried chicken wings

Grilled chicken wings are a hot item and pair exceptionally well with fruit- or vegetable-based dips or salsas. Try marinating your chicken in pineapple juice for 20 minutes, grill the chicken until done, then top with a low-sodium BBQ sauce and the pineapple salsa below. Your guests will savor the delicious, sweet and spicy flavor!

Spicy Pineapple Salsa

Serves: 10

  • 4 cups pineapple, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, finely chopped
  • ½ sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground pepper, to taste

3. Smashed sweet potato bar for loaded fries bar

Move over loaded fries, these smashed sweet potatoes are the next big thing. Smashed sweet potatoes can easily be used as a main course instead of hamburgers or hot dogs. Sweet potatoes are high in potassium and rich in fiber, helping you feel full longer. This smashed sweet potato bar is light, flavorful and customizable – you can truly top these any way you want.

To prepare, rinse and boil the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes. Cut each into quarters and smash with a fork. Place in the oven at 400 degrees F and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the outside becomes crispy. Pair with low-fat sour cream, corn, tomatoes, salsa, beans and herbs for toppings.

4. Dessert board for candy

Instead of offering candy to your guests, how about a fun dessert board instead? Selecting 5-8 options allows guests a variety to choose from. Here are some ideas:

5. Flavored sparkling water for soda

Ditch calorie-packed soda and opt for flavored sparkling waters instead. There are endless amounts of flavors that pair well with fresh fruit for a mocktail. You can easily create a mocktail station with colorful straws, cups and different fruits and herbs for mixing. This is a refreshing option that the kids can enjoy, too!

Explore more healthy living advice from our team of experts.