Nutritious Game Day Snacks for Every Fan

Nov 13, 2023 Recipes 7 MIN

Nutritious Game Day Snacks for Every Fan

Quick Scoop

  • Many game day snacks are typically full of bad fats and provide limited nutritional value.
  • By replacing typical game day processed foods with whole grain, fruits, and vegetables, they can be transformed into more nutritious options.
  • Wiser choices for game day snacks will often have important nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Choosing nutritious snacks can enhance your overall well-being and support your health goals.

Grab your favorite jersey and your appetite because game day is here, and we're about to take your snack game to the next level! Of course, touchdowns and field goals are great, but let's be honest, the real MVP of any game day gathering is the snacks.

But who says delicious snacks can't also be nutritious? Say farewell to your typical game day snacks and join us in exploring a lineup of mouthwatering, feel-good-about munchies that will have you cheering for more. Whether you're hosting a game day party or watching the event from your couch, get ready to score big with these tasty and nutritious nibbles.

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Imagine the zesty, spicy goodness of traditional buffalo wings, but with a delicious, wholesome twist. Cauliflower buffalo bites deliver that satisfying crunch and tangy buffalo sauce flavor without the extra grease found in traditional fried chicken wings. Not only are they lower in dietary fat, but they're also have vitamins and fiber, making them a perfect game day snack to indulge in without compromising your health goals.

You can make crispy cauliflower buffalo bites, by cutting cauliflower into bite-sized florets and dipping them into a mixture of whole-wheat flour, milk, salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Then place the coated florets on a baking sheet and bake at 450°F for 20-25 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Then, toss your baked cauliflower in a mixture of hot sauce and a small amount of melted butter, and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the sauce caramelizes.

Sweet Potato Nachos

These vibrant and flavorful nachos are not only a delight for your taste buds but also a win for your health. Instead of traditional tortilla chips, this inventive recipe uses thinly sliced sweet potatoes as the base. Sweet potatoes bring a nutritional punch to your snacking game. What’s more, you can customize them with your favorite healthy toppings.

Begin by thinly slicing sweet potatoes, toss with olive oil, and bake until crispy. Then, top with whatever wholesome ingredients you have on hand. This may include black beans, diced tomatoes, avocado slices or guacamole, salsa, and cilantro.

Learn More: 7 Healthy Foods To Incorporate Into Your Diet

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Zucchini Pizza Bites

These little delights are a game changer for your game day snacking. By swapping out traditional pizza dough for wholesome zucchini slices, you're not only cutting carbs but at the same time replacing them with fiber and essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, and Magnesium. [1] Furthermore, zucchini pizza bites offer a satisfying snack that you can indulge in knowing you’re making a better choice.

These delicious bites couldn’t be easier to make. Start by slicing zucchini and top your zucchini rounds with marinara sauce, the cheese of your choice, and your favorite pizza toppings. Then, bake until the cheese bubbles and enjoy!

Mango and Black Bean Salsa

Get ready to elevate your game day experience with a tropical twist on traditional salsa. Mango and black bean salsa is not only chock full of flavors but is also a nutritional powerhouse. The juicy mango chunks bring a touch of sweetness and  Vitamin C. The black beans add protein, Fiber, and a variety of important micronutrients like Iron, Folate, and Thiamin. [2]

To make this delicious salsa simply mix diced mango, black beans, chopped red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and a touch of chili powder together. Whether paired with whole grain chips, fresh sliced veggies, or used as a topping, this mango and black bean salsa is a fresh, healthy, and delicious game day treat that will have your guests coming back for more!

Learn More: Vitamin C Health Benefits & Food Sources: A Complete Guide

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas are not just crunchy and delicious, they’re also one way to get important nutrients to support your health. Known for their protein and fiber content, chickpeas can keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the game. Moreover, they have a variety of vitamins and minerals including Manganese, Folate, Copper, and Vitamin B6. [3]

To make roasted chickpeas just drain and rinse a can of chickpeas thoroughly, then pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Then, toss the chickpeas in a bowl with olive oil and your choice of spices, such as cumin, paprika, garlic powder, or chili powder. Spread the seasoned chickpeas on a baking sheet and roast them at 425°F in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy.

Creamy Hummus

Creamy Hummus

This versatile dip not only satisfies your taste buds but also will help you feel full and satisfied. Made primarily from chickpeas, hummus is a dip that has protein and fiber which helps you feel full, as well as important micronutrients.

The best part? You can get creative with your hummus by incorporating a variety of tasty ingredients. To make basic hummus combine canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed), tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. You can also add roasted red peppers for a smoky twist or toss in some spinach and garlic for a flavorful green hummus.

Learn More: 10 Foods That Are High In Fiber You Can Eat Daily

Air Fried Pickle Chips

Air Fried Pickle Chips

Get ready to savor the crunch without the excess dietary fat with Air Fried Pickle Chips, the ultimate game day snack! These tangy chips, when air-fried, achieve that perfect crispy texture without the need for excessive oil, making them a more sensible alternative to traditional fried pickles.

To make air fried pickle chips, start by draining and patting dry pickle slices. In a bowl, mix whole-wheat flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Dip each pickle slice into the flour mixture, spray with cooking oil, then air fry at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway, until they are golden and crispy.

White Bean Dip

White Bean Dip

This creamy dip is not only incredibly tasty; it's also a good choice for those looking for wide variety of important nutrients. White beans have protein and fiber, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin B6, Magnesium, and Folate. [4]

White bean dip can easily be made by blending a can of white beans (also called cannellini beans) with garlic, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice. You can also customize your dip by adding various herbs like basil or parsley and additional ingredients like roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, or tahini, depending on your taste preferences. Serve your dip with pita chips or veggies for a delicious and nutritious snack!

Baked Zucchini Fries

Baked Zucchini Fries

Crispy zucchini fries are not just a tasty alternative to traditional fries; they also have vitamins and minerals that support your overall health and well-being. Zucchini, thinly sliced and baked to golden perfection, without the excess oil that comes from traditional frying, making it a delightfully nutritious choice for your game day spread.

Begin by slicing zucchini into thin strips and in a bowl, toss the zucchini strips with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your choice of seasonings (like garlic powder or paprika). Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Dip these golden fries in a tangy yogurt-based sauce or a zesty marinara, and you've got a snack that's as flavorful as it is wholesome.

Dark Chocolate-Dipped Fruit

Dark Chocolate-Dipped Fruit

This sweet treat can easily add a touch of decadence to your game day spread while offering a helping of nutrition. Dark chocolate has antioxidants (flavanols and polyphenols), while fresh fruit provides essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The combination creates a sweet and satisfying snack that will have everyone cheering for more!

To make dark chocolate-dipped fruit simply melt dark chocolate in a small saucepan and dip in fruits like bananas, oranges, or strawberries. Place them on a tray lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate hardens.

Learn More: What Are Antioxidants And What Do They Do?

The Bottom Line

With these delicious and nutritious game day snacks, you're all set to host the ultimate game day gathering! Say goodbye to greasy chips and sugary treats and welcome these alternatives that not only satisfy your taste buds but also have a wide range of important nutrients to support your health goals.

Learn More:
Healthy Super Bowl Recipes
Why Live A Healthy Lifestyle?
Why We’re Not Getting The Nutrients We Need

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice or a recommendation for any specific product. Consult your health care provider for more information.

References

  1. (United States Department of Agriculture). "FoodData Central." National Agricultural Library, n.d., Accessed on October 2, 2023 from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169291/nutrients
  2. (United States Department of Agriculture). "FoodData Central." National Agricultural Library, n.d., Accessed on October 2, 2023 from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175188/nutrients
  3. (United States Department of Agriculture). "FoodData Central." National Agricultural Library, n.d., Accessed on October 3, 2023 from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173800/nutrients
  4. (United States Department of Agriculture). "FoodData Central." National Agricultural Library, n.d., Accessed on October 3, 2023 from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175204/nutrients

Authors

Emily Hirsch, MS, RD

NatureMade Contributor

Emily has over a decade of experience in the field of nutrition. In her writing, she strives to bring lackluster research on health and nutrition topics to life. She loves writing about GI health and women’s issues. Find her at www.southcharlottenutrition.com

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Kalyn Williams, RDN

Science and Health Educator

Kalyn is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and a Science & Health Educator with the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. Her experience in the field of nutrition prior to joining Pharmavite has included community and public health education, media dietetics, and clinical practice in the areas of disordered eating, diabetes, women’s health, and general wellness. Kalyn received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, and completed her dietetic supervised practice in Maricopa County, AZ, with an emphasis on public health. Kalyn is certified in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where she is an active member in addition to memberships in Dietitians in Functional Medicine, Women’s Health Dietitians, and the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians.

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