Tips for Healthier Tailgating

Football player catching football

- 10/01/2019

Are you ready for some football but don’t want the extra calories or additives from foods that often go along with tailgating? Baptist Health Care offers these better-for-you coaching tips to score a healthier you, even during football season.

Time Out

  • If you know you are going to splurge for an event, eat light the rest of the day in preparation.
  • Have a small snack that contains protein and fiber prior to the festivities. It will help fill you up and reduce your likelihood of overeating later.
  • Eat from a plate. Do not continually graze.
  • Be cautious of beverages. The calories in alcoholic beverages and sugar sweetened drinks are empty calories that add up fast. Also, alcohol tends to lead to increased hunger.  


  • Bring hand sanitizer in case a sink and soap are not available.
  • Be mindful when packing a cooler. The fuller the cooler, the better, A full cooler with help keep food cold.
  • Do not leave foods unrefrigerated for more than two hours.
  • Keep coolers out of the sun.
  • If packing raw meat to grill, double bag it and place in the bottom of the cooler to avoid cross-contamination. 
  • Throw away perishable foods.

Score with guests by offering healthy food options like:

  • Chili
  • Baked chicken wings
  • Sweet potato wedges
  • Meat and cheese tray
  • Fresh fruit salad or fruit kabobs
  • Veggies with Greek yogurt based dip
  • Sandwich wraps cut into bite size pieces
  • Pita bread and hummus

Let these football gathering suggestions keep your waistline trimmer during this tailgating season.