Guilt-Free Super Bowl Snacks

soup and bread

Over the years, Super Bowl Sunday has become synonymous with delicious snacking. We prepare for the big day all week long, get excited about our pick for winner, and then the day comes and we're surrounded by a dozen foods that we've deemed only appropriate for one-day per year. We find ourselves with similar feelings to Thanksgiving or 4th of July. Inevitably, guilt and shame have joined us when we should just be enjoying the thrill of the game (or half-time).

If you search for Super Bowl recipes, you will likely happen upon dozens, if not hundreds, of websites selling you the same-old diet story: if you want to enjoy your foods, you better make them "healthy." As a girl from Buffalo, I can tell you it is completely against the belief system of the entirety of Western New York to attempt to pass cauliflower off as a chicken wing alternative. It's just wrong.

What I CAN suggest is to gather all your football faves and pair them with everyday foods that help keep you full and satisfied. Love Cousin Molly's 7-layer taco dip? Offer both tortilla chips and veggies as dipping options! Can't get enough of Aunt Suzy's brownie bites? Pair them with some fruit and yogurt dip for a delicious way to get your fill of fiber and protein.  And if you just want to enjoy those foods for the sake of it? You've got permission.

Tips to make the most of your big day:

  • Forego starving yourself early in the day to "save calories" for later. Ultimately, you will go overboard and feel both physically and mentally uncomfortable, likely not even remembering those foods you love so much.
  • One meal, or even one whole day, will not make or break you. Assess your hunger and fullness as the evening goes on. Allow yourself to go back for seconds if you are still hungry, but do not force yourself to finish the whole plate if your stomach has had enough. You are in control.
  • If others are joining you for a safe and socially distanced game-day gathering, discuss what each person is bringing ahead of time so you can plan how to fill in the gaps with nutrient-rich foods that will add to the satisfaction of the celebration feast.

written by: Rachel Bagne, SwedishAmerican Clinical Dietitian