Super Bowl Foods and Snacks - a Healthy Version
By:  Xinjuan J. Baldwin

One of the biggest events happens the first weekend of February, it’s the Super Bowl!!!  The big game is getting very close-we are days away.  Are you ready for it? No matter if you are going to watch the game with family or having a Super Bowl party with friends; be sure to eat some healthy filling foods and snacks while watching the exciting game.  Here are a few ideas:

1.      1.  Pizza with a twist - If you can’t resist having pizza when you watch the big game, then get a healthy version to splurge on.  You can choose whole wheat crust over regular white flour, low-fat cheese over regular cheese. Also you can have less cheese, more sauce and add all sorts of vegetables.  There are many good choices to give you a better pizza than pepperoni or sausages. Onions, mushrooms, green and red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach and many other vegetables. Load up your pizza with these great toppings without feeling guilty.

2.      2.  Wraps, cold or warm - If you like cold wraps, try whole wheat tortilla shells filled with grilled chicken/fish and fresh vegetables. If you like warm wraps, substitute raw vegetables with grilled/oven roasted ones. These tasty wraps should fill you up very well when you are concentrating on the game. Avoid processed meats and go easy on the cheese and dressing.

3.      3.  Tortilla chips and Salsa - Toss away your potato chips and pair up tortilla chips with tangy spicy salsa. This will give you a fantastic taste and nutrients you need.  Add tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, avocado, corn, beans, cilantro and even mango and pineapple. Don’t these ingredients make your mouth water?  Not to mention the variety of vegetables and fruits you have at one time makes this a great combination.

4.      4.  Nachos and Vegetarian Chili - Tortilla chips can also be paired up with vegetarian chili to make a healthy nacho dish. Sprinkle some shredded low-fat cheese to make it taste even better.

5.      5.  Veggies and Greek Yogurt Dip – Celery sticks, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli and cherry tomatoes are good to make a snack for the game. Substitute sour cream with Greek Yogurt (low-fat or regular). Greek yogurt has a thick and creamy texture, which will be able to provide a similar mouth feel to sour cream. It also has less saturated fat and calories.Combine Greek yogurt with chopped onions, garlic powder, dill weed, parsley flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Now you have a yummy creamy dip without killing your heart and adding unwanted weight.

6.      6.  Pita chips and Hummus - Hummus is made with chickpeas, which is a protein-rich legume. Also, you can add black beans, onions, red peppers or other ingredients. Another bonus point, the combination of pita bread and hummus provide complementary proteins, which is a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.

While you are getting mentally prepared for the exciting Super Bowl game, don’t forget your belly as well. Get your foods and snacks ready before the game, and enjoy them with passion and excitement.

Xinjuan J. Baldwin is the Senior Editor of Educational Fitness Solutions Monthly Nutrition Newsletter and is a graduate of the State University of New York with a B.S. in Nutrition and a minor in Personal Training. During college Xinjuan focused on working with children, older adults, the general populace, and families in need of nutrition and fitness consulting. Currently she is focusing her time on more specific nutrition related issues, such as proper sports nutrition implementation and how to manage weight via better eating habits. She also spends her time concentrating on posture and body alignment analysis and correction implementation within a fitness setting.