Healthy Ways to Tailgate

Healthy Ways to Tailgate

By Katherin Snyder, RD, LD/N, CDE

In Tallahassee, football and tailgating go hand in hand. However, eating healthy at tailgate parties can be a challenge.  Here are a few tips to consider on your healthy eating journey -

  • Have a snack or light meal before showing up to the party, to avoid being too hungry
  • Consider bringing a snack to share. Healthy options can be a fruit tray, veggie platter or bean salad, like the one below
  • A healthy and tasty substitute for a traditional sour cream dip can be hummus
  • Bring adequate non-alcoholic beverages such as water, infused or carbonated flavored water or Crystal Light to alternate with any alcoholic drink
  • Remember portion control for everything you are eating
  • For those watching their caloric intake, consider a vegetarian burger patty or a ground turkey breast burger verse beef
  • With hotter temperatures, oil and vinegar dressings tend to keep better verse mayonnaise-based dressings.
  • Be active to distract from overeating. Games such as bean bag toss, washer toss or just throwing a football can always be fun

Quick and Easy Corn & Bean Salad

A bean salad can be a tasty option that packs in fiber, protein and carbohydrate.

1.5 cups of whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
2 cups of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium bell pepper, chopped (red or green)
½ cup green onion, chopped
½ cup red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped

¾ cup of light Italian dressing
1 tsp. Texas Pete hot sauce
½ tsp. chili powder
1 tpsp. lime juice
1 tpsp. cilantro, chopped
Put into a container, shake and pour over salad

This recipe can be made in advance and refrigerated overnight. Place in a covered container for easy transporting.

Makes 20 (1/2 cup) servings:  Approximately – 75 calories, 14 grams carbohydrate (3.5 grams fiber),

1 gram fat, 4 grams protein, 207 mg sodium

Another great tip on tailgating is to ensure your food is safe for all to enjoy. Making healthy choices will allow you to better enjoy the game!

How to Check a Temperature:

  • Choose a thermometer with a probe that is the appropriate size for the food item
  • Check the temperature in the thickest part of the food
  • Make sure to take at least 2 different readings, in 2 different locations

Food Safety Temperatures:

Type of Food – not all inclusive Minimal Internal Temperature
Poultry, dishes that are raw need to be cooked to minimum internal temperatures 165° for 15 seconds
Ground meat (like beef and pork), ground seafood, mechanically tenderized meat, injected meat like roasts 155° for 15 seconds
Seafood, steaks/chops, commercially raised game 145° for 15 seconds
Roasts of pork, beef, veal and lamb 145° for 4 minutes
Hot dishes of fruit, vegetables, grains (rice/pasta), beans 135°



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