Tips for Planning a Healthy Super Bowl Party Menu

Tips for Planning a Healthy Super Bowl Party Menu

With a little planning and a few substitutions, you can still enjoy the big game with chili, chips, dips and desserts – but without the fat and calories.

It’s game day. And while hard-core fans will be focused on the action, everyone looks forward to the food, too. Think of Super Bowl party staples like meaty chili, potato skins, chips and ranch dips.

But you don’t have to resort to this high-fat, high-calorie fare. With a little creativity, you can cook up some nutritious, low-calorie snacks – and without having to sacrifice taste!

Snacks and appetizers

  • Use your favorite dried dip blend and mix into low-fat sour cream, whipped cottage cheese or plain low-fat yogurt.
  • Mash some ripe avocado with fresh salsa for a delicious quick guacamole.
  • Turn a traditional layered bean dip into a nutrition powerhouse. Layer fat-free refried beans mixed with a can of rinsed black beans, some salsa and chili powder. Melt low-fat shredded cheese onto the beans, then add low-fat sour cream and a mixture of diced avocado, fresh tomato, romaine lettuce and sliced black olives.
  • Include plenty of vegetables. Go for a rainbow effect. It will not only look great, but will be full of antioxidants.
  • Think low-fat. Buy hard pretzels, baked tortilla chips, and reduced-fat potato chips.
  • Combine low-sugar cereals with pretzels, slivered almonds, unsalted peanuts, raisins and/or other dried fruit.
  • Substitute. Instead of bacon and high-fat cheddar cheese for potato skins, substitute with reduced-fat bacon bits, salsa, a little low-fat shredded cheese, low-fat or fat-free sour cream, and fun spices such as chili powder, paprika, garlic and onion powder.
  • Try this. Almost everyone loves grilled shrimp or shrimp cocktail, which is extremely low in fat and calories.

Main dishes

  • For a hearty but lower-fat chili, use extra-lean beef or a combination of lean beef and lean ground turkey. Use less than what the recipes calls for and add more beans and tomatoes. A small dollop of low-fat sour cream and a sprinkle of reduced-fat cheese will complement this nicely.
  • Instead of fried chicken, cut up 1 pound of skinless chicken. Coat with 1/4 cup flour seasoned with paprika, pepper, garlic and onion powder, and a dash of salt. Dip in one egg white mixed with 1/4 cup buttermilk, then roll in crushed cornflakes. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Dip in ketchup, BBQ sauce or a honey-mustard dressing.
  • Have a deli platter with lean meats like turkey, ham and roast beef. Serve with roasted red peppers, lettuce, sliced tomatoes and shredded cabbage. In addition to the traditional rolls, offer whole-wheat pitas. If you make tuna or chicken salad, use low-fat mayonnaise.
  • Offer a hearty salad focusing more on veggies than lettuce, filled with colorful bell peppers, carrots, diced fresh tomatoes, radishes, purple cabbage and some corn and sliced olives. Serve with olive oil vinaigrette and lemon or lime juice.


  • Serve a fruit salad.
  • Bake a batch of low-fat brownies.
  • Make an easy apple/pear crisp: Place six sliced fresh apples and/or pears in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Mix together 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of trans fat-free butter until crumbly. Add 1/2 cup raw oatmeal, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. Mix together. Sprinkle evenly on top of fruit and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes – until bubbly.
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