Lighten Up Gameday Snacks

Whether you have some skin in the big game Sunday or are more interested in watching the ads and spending time with friends and family, Super Bowl Sunday parties often feature calorie and fat dense foods that can sabotage a healthy diet.  But there are many ways to lighten up traditional snacks while keeping lots of flavor and variety.  

If you acquired an air fryer over the holidays, Super Bowl Sunday is a perfect time to put it to work making chicken drumettes that don’t require lots of oil to give them crispiness.  Meatballs, stuffed mushrooms or anything that traditionally requires deep-frying will also be healthier when prepared with an air fryer.   Substituting turkey sausage or low-fat cream cheese can also lighten up appetizers. 

No air fryer?  No problem.  Try a skillet nacho dip with pinto beans, reduced-fat cheese, ground beef and top it with tomato, avocado, jalapeño and red onion.  Or substitute whole wheat noodles in macaroni and cheese with low-fat milk and cheese.   Slash the fat and calories in queso dip or beer cheese soup with the addition of pureed butternut squash in place of some of the cheese or use cauliflower instead of chicken for a vegetarian buffalo bites alternative. This heart-healthy recipe from the American Heart Association for Apple Nachos may be a win for your table.  A yogurt dip for fresh fruit and vegetables along with olives, nuts, cheese and a bit of lean meat can create an appealing charcuterie board.  For more ideas and recipes, visit

Gameday foods are not the only source of added calories: beer, wine and mixed drinks can add calories and unwanted sugar.   Lighten up with a rosé punch using flavored seltzer, lime juice, rosé wine, a little vodka and garnish with fresh berries or try a light beer margarita.   Be sure to offer plenty of sparkling water, juice, tea or coffee for those who prefer not to imbibe.  Here’s a lighter cocktail to try at 229 calories and 5 WW points. 

Skinny Beer Margaritas


  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate (thawed)
  • 1½ cups (12 fluid ounces) tequila
  • 1 (12 oz) can diet 7-up (1½ cups)
  • 1 (12oz) bottle or can of light beer (1½cups)
  • Lots of ice cubes
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges


1. In a pitcher, add the ingredients and stir until blended

2. Add salt around the rim of each glass, if desired. Place lots of ice in each glass.  Add the margarita mix and garnish with a lime wedge.

Makes 8 beer margaritas (¾ cup each)

Source:  Skinny Kitchen