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4 min read

As a culture, our social gatherings typically include food and drink. Football season is no exception.

Whether you are a weekly tailgater, catch the game from the comfort of your home, or get together with friends… there is a good chance food and drinks will be involved!

If you’re like me, and usually looking for more health-conscious options to snack on during the game, or at least be able to track your macros, here are three fan favorites that I know you’ll enjoy!

These are healthier spins on tailgating classics that’ll satisfy your taste buds without ruining your nutrition plan for the day!

Sweet Skins

This is a healthier version of classic potato skins.

If you are someone who is tracking your macros and wants to stay on track with your nutrition plan, you’ll appreciate this as a tasty alternative. Make it for yourself or make it for a group and take it as an appetizer to your next tailgate!


6 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 avocado, pitted and cut into small pieces
1 cup black bean chips, crushed


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack at the top of the oven.

2) Put the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until fork-tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely. If it is easier to cool them the day before and refrigerate, you can do that as well. Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise, and scoop out most of the flesh, leaving about a 1/4-inch border all around. (Pro Tip: You can save the sweet potato flesh and use in your meal prep for the next week!)

3) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the potato skins skin-side up on the rack, and brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Bake until the skins are lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely, then cut each in half crosswise.

4) Place the sweet potato pieces skin-side down on a rimmed baking sheet, and sprinkle each with mozzarella, Parmesan and scallions. Bake until the mozzarella melts, roughly 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the potato skins from the oven, and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Top each with your favorite salsa and avocado. (Pro Tip: You can top them with what you want, like bacon or sriracha… just be conscious of the ingredients you use and how they will change the nutritional content.)

Nutritional Information:

Serving size: 3 skins
Makes 8 servings
Per Serving:
Calories: 140
Fat: 7 grams
Carbohydrates: 15 grams
Protein: 4 grams

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This healthier spin on a spicy and satisfying Buffalo Chicken Dip is sure to be a crowd favorite. Tons of flavor with fewer calories!

Out of the three, this is my personal favorite. I actually make this when it’s not football season as well!


Two 8-ounce packages reduced-fat cream cheese, cut into small pieces
2 cups shredded white meat from a rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded
2 cups shredded low-fat Cheddar (about 6 ounces)
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Celery and carrot sticks, for serving


1) Put the following ingredients in the slow cooker and stir to roughly mix up the ingredients: cream cheese, chicken, Cheddar, buttermilk, hot sauce, flour, Worcestershire, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder.

2) Cover, and cook on high for 2 hours; the mixture should be bubbling and the Cheddar melted. Stir until smooth and completely mixed.

3) Sprinkle with the parsley and blue cheese, reduce the heat to warm and serve with celery and carrot sticks.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 1/4 Cup
Makes 12 servings
Per Serving:
Calories: 170
Fat: 11 grams
Carbs: 6 grams
Protein: 12 Grams

Avocado Hummus

Who doesn’t like dips?!

No one … or at least no one I want to know! haha

Dips are always a crowd favorite. Doesn’t matter if it’s for the football game, birthday party, or random tuesday night date night… a great dip for an appetizer is always a good idea!

This Avocado Hummus will stand out with its vibrant green color as well as refreshing flavor! It’s easy to make and will help get some healthy fats into your nutrition plan!


1 (15 ounces) can no-salt-added chickpeas
1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt


1) Drain chickpeas, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Transfer the chickpeas and the reserved liquid to a food processor.

2) Add avocado, cilantro, tahini, oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt.

3) Puree in a food processor until very smooth.

4) Serve with veggie chips, pita chips, or an assortment of vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, celery, broccoli, etc)

Nutritional Information:

Serving size: ¼ cup
Makes 10 Servings
Per serving:
Calories: 156
Fat: 12 grams
Carbohydrates: 9 grams
Protein: 3 grams

So if you’re excited about football season like me, but not so excited about the added temptation of all the food, and are worried about falling off track with your nutrition… I’m right there with you.

Give one, two, or all of these recipes a shot this football season! They are healthier spins that will be lighter on macros yet still full on flavor!

*This post was written by Will Grumke. He is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM CertifiedBehavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.

Will Grumke
Will Grumke

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