December 27, 2023
Lauren Platero

Healthy Tailgate Food | 10 Delicious & Healthy Game Day Foods

Healthy tailgate food should certainly be part of the mix on game days. Many football party finger food ideas are unhealthy. While some dishes may consist of an astronomical amount of calories, others may be super high in sodium. 

But there’s no need to worry–this blog comprises a ton of information that’ll let you make healthier choices on game days. From hot and cold tailgate food to tasty half time snacks for football games, you’ll find several options in a bit. Tailgating festivities and football party ideas have never been easier–and healthier!

We also encourage you, the reader, to consider the following dishes if you’re the business owner of a tailgate sports bar. Many people go to bars for the social aspect, but are disappointed at the lack of dishes that suit their dietary needs. By adding healthy football tailgate food throughout your menu, you'll be on your way to capturing more sales. Now, let’s get started!

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10 Healthy Tailgate Food Options

Maybe you’ll be hosting a tailgate party with your friends and family at the next big game. Or, perhaps you own one of the more festive sports bars to watch football in your town. Regardless of the situation, making sure that healthy tailgate food is on the menu is essential. So, without further ado, read on for ten healthy game day dishes.

1. Baked Wings

The best sports bar to watch football in each city will likely have wings on the menu. But did you know that the method of frying wings can add a ton of calories to the final product? The high caloric content of fried wings is due to the use of oil. To make one of the most popular game day food favorites slightly healthier, consider baking them instead.

2. Grilled Shrimp Skewers

You’ll quickly come to learn that skewers are a great method of preparing food for tailgate festivities. They’re simple, efficient, and require little to no clean-up. With this in mind, grill shrimp and add them to a skewer. You can also add a vegetable, such as grilled zucchini, to give the skewers some balance.

3. Turkey Sliders 

Did you know that turkey meat is a bit more lean than beef? With this in mind, turkey burgers are a healthy tailgate food option compared to traditional beef patties. If you’re bringing a grill to your next tailgate, consider this burger option instead.

4. Popcorn 

Surprisingly, popcorn is a very low-calorie snack. Once you make it, it’s just as delicious when served at room temperature. If you want to mix things up for your next tailgate party, consider snacking on unique gourmet popcorn varieties. For football bars wanting to spice up their menu, this is a great snack to keep on each table.

5. Veggies and Dip

Pairing fresh veggies and dips may be the healthiest tailgate food of all. Well, that depends on what the dips consist of. As long as they’re made with ingredients like healthy oils, Greek yogurt, or hummus, they should be ideal. Plus, veggies and dip are one of the easiest keto Super Bowl snacks to prepare.

6. Whole Grain Chips

From pregame festivities throughout the season to any Super Bowl watch party, chips will probably be on the table (literally). If you’d like chips to be one of your healthy tailgate food items this season, opt for whole grain options. Or, you can even try grain-free alternatives.

7. Fruit Skewers

A fruit salad might be a bit too messy for a tailgate. However, skewers make serving fruit simpler than ever. Plus, they’ll be one of the most decorative food items of all. Just make sure you store them in the cooler, so they stay extra fresh.

8. Mixed Nuts 

If you want the ultimate healthy tailgate food item, pack a variety of mixed nuts for your next game day. The best part about mixed nuts is that they’re fairly low in fat and carbohydrates, yet they can keep you full for extended periods of time. This is due to the high protein and fiber content. You can also make a trail mix by adding ingredients like pretzels and freeze dried fruit for some variety.

9. Cauliflower Wings 

Remember how we said that almost all sports bars have wings on their menu? Well, what if we told you that you could make a meatless version of this dish? That’s right, whether you’re searching for vegetarian Super Bowl food as the season ends, or just want to diversify your menu, this option will be a hit.

10. Whole Grain Wraps

If you use ingredients like tuna, lean meat, veggies, and light condiments, wraps can be a bit healthier than usual. They’re a great lunch item that’ll pair perfectly with your other healthy tailgate food items. Plus, they're sure to keep you full throughout the entire game.

Gluten Free Super Bowl Snacks 

Sure, the Super Bowl only happens once a year. However, it can easily be a restaurant’s most profitable night. Believe it or not, Super Bowl Sunday comes in second place for days when consumers ingest the most calories. Obviously, Thanksgiving takes the top spot. 

Healthy tailgate food often refers to items that are gluten-free. Many gluten free football snacks are listed in this blog post. Things like fresh produce and meat products are naturally free of gluten. So, be sure to bookmark this list for your Super Bowl restaurant plans, or better yet, your Super Bowl catering menu.

Frequently Asked Questions About Healthy Tailgate Food

Healthy tailgate food will offer a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other good-for-you macronutrients as you cheer on your favorite teams. But there’s a lot more to it. From planning tailgates to keeping all your recipes fresh, check out the following FAQ section for even more details on the matter.

What Are Healthy Tailgate Food Options?

Healthy tailgate food items that you can prepare this football season include things like:

  • Fruit skewers
  • Veggies and dip
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Baked chicken wings
  • Cauliflower wings

How Do You Tailgate On a Diet?

You can tailgate on a diet by packing healthy tailgate food. Dishes like veggies with dip, whole grain buns, and fruit skewers are just a few of many options. It would also be a diet-friendly decision to consume zero-calorie beverages.

How Do You Keep Food Warm While Tailgating?

You can keep food warm while tailgating by using proper trays and Tupperware. Aluminum tins, foil, and insulated tumblers or other storage containers will be your best bet. You can always throw things like burgers and hot dogs back on the grill, too.

How Do You Host a Tailgate Party?

Anyone can host a tailgate party by serving food and drinks with TVs blaring in the background. If you’re hosting pregame festivities from a parking lot, bring a grill, lawn chairs, full coolers, and music. It's simply a party leading up to the game, which means there's a ton of room for creativity.

What Can I Bring to a Tailgate Without a Grill?

You can bring a variety of dishes that involve fruit, dips, chips, and veggies to a tailgate without a grill. If you still want to serve some kind of meat, pack sandwiches or wraps in your cooler.

Athleticism and Healthy Tailgate Food: The Perfect Combo

When you stop to think about it, pairing healthy tailgate food with such a high-energy sport is simply perfect. Sure, the fans aren’t partaking in the physical activity, but healthy dishes are certainly more relatable to those they’re cheering on. Use this post as a guide when planning future football festivities, and everyone will be eating and feeling good!