Tailgating Made Healthy

Growing up in Nebraska, tailgating is a must for every football game. At nearly every tailgate, you’re guaranteed to find tempting foods and drinks that can really interfere with your diet. There are several ways to make healthy choices while still being able to enjoy time with family and friends. Here are some helpful tailgating tips followed by healthier takes on classic tailgate recipes!


Tailgating Tips:

  •  Think baked, not fried!
    • Prepare homemade wings and fries at home before coming to the tailgate. Bake/roast potatoes, wings, and sweet potatoes on high heat in the oven for that “fried” taste. (See Sweet Potato Fries Recipe Below)
  • Go “lean”:
  • Dip Substitutions:
    • Swap out Sour cream based dips with plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese
    • Choose Hummus or homemade guacamole instead of nacho cheese or 7-layer dips (See my Hummole Recipe here)
    • Instead of potato chips, dip with baked pita chips, whole grain crackers, whole grain tortilla chips, and veggies.
  • Make it Fresh:
    • Make homemade salsa rather than buying canned salsa and cheese dips. They are quick and simple to make and taste great with added mango and pineapple. (Try my Peach Salsa recipe)
  • Make healthy desserts rather than bringing store-bought!
    • Rather than buying highly processed, refined flour and sugar packed desserts from the store, make your own healthy versions at home. Here's a simple recipe for homemade chocolate chip cookies.
  • Avoid drinking too many calories
    • Skip the soda (regular and diet) and stick to water or unsweetened tea as much as possible. For alcoholic drinks, skip the beer and rum cocktails and go for vodka and club soda or water sweetened with lemons and limes. 


Chipotle Turkey Burgers with Peach Salsa

Chipotle Turkey Burgers with Peach Salsa


Sweet Potato Fries 


6 small sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled, quartered and sliced

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp olive oil

nonstick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In small bowl, pour the oil and stir in all the seasonings. In a large bowl place the sliced sweet potatoes. Pour the seasoning mixture over the potatoes and using tongs or your hands evenly mix and coat the sweet potatoes. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Lay the sweet potatoes flat on the baking sheet, do not overlap. Use the cooking spray to lightly coat the sweet potatoes. Bake for 10 minutes, turn them and bake at least 10 more minutes until golden brown/crispy. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.