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Become a Tailgate MVP with Healthy Choices

Tailgating Infographic

Who doesn't love a tailgate? But football season can take its toll on your health with lots of chips, dips, fried foods, soft drinks, and beer. Here's how to enjoy tailgates in a more healthful way!

Chips and Dip for the Win

Try dipping whole grain tortilla chips or crackers for a little extra fiber. Carrots, cauliflower, or other raw veggies are a good choice too. And fresh homemade salsa can provide the amazing flavor, vitamins, and minerals we all crave. For a healthier creamy dip, make one with Greek yogurt, which is high in protein and calcium.

Tips for Healthy Grilling

  • Grill boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken kabobs
  • Use ground turkey instead of ground beef for sliders or burgers
  • Skip salty or sugar-laden store-bought marinades; make your own, using vinegars or lemon for added tenderness and tanginess

Keep Food Safe

  • Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness
  • Store raw or cooked meats and other perishables in a cooler with several inches of ice to keep it at 40°
  • Be sure that raw meat is packaged securely so it doesn't drip or leak
  • No perishable foods should be left out for more than two hours
  • If the outside temperature is above 90º, then perishables should not be left out for more than one hour

Make it Easy to Referee Drinking

For adults of legal drinking age, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a limit of two drinks per day for men and one for women. If you are hosting, be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages on hand. Good options include:

  • Water
  • Sparkling water
  • Non-alcoholic beer
  • Hot chocolate