Whether it be football, basketball or hockey, watching sports with family and friends is a fun, spirited way to spend a winter afternoon. With the upcoming Super Bowl, there’s no better reason to get everyone together. However, traditional game day snacks may not be the most nutritious—for adults or kids. With a little planning and creativity, it’s easy to swap out healthier versions while you’re cheering on your favorite team. Here are some winning snack ideas for kids and adults alike the next time you host the big game.
Fresh fruits & veggies
One thing a sports stadium can lack? Fresh snacks. Take advantage of being at home and set out a spread of fresh fruits and vegetables for an instant crowd-pleaser. Chop up everything from carrots and apples to celery and radishes. You can even serve fresh grapes, berries and sliced-up pineapple for easy snacking.
Get creative with a variety of dips and accompaniments, such as fresh hummus with pita. (If you have time, you can make your own pita chips.) Greek yogurt or any kind of nut butter is the perfect dip for fresh fruit. For vegetables, make a healthier version of ranch dressing using nonfat Greek yogurt and a mix of herbs and spices.
Peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs—some of the most classic game day treats are also quite high in sodium. Fortunately, it’s easy to make comparable versions that are more nutritious (and even sneak in some fruits and veggies).
Homemade trail mix
For a quick and easy alternative to store-bought trail mix, try this homemade version, which combines nuts, seeds and dried fruit. You can also add in dark chocolate or popcorn for a balanced snack.
Try air-popping your own popcorn (skip the butter), or serving up a pre-popped packaged version that’s flavorful and gluten-free. To add a little flavor, try adding nutritional yeast for a nutty and cheesy taste.
Sweet potato chips
Replace traditional potato chips with crispy baked sweet potato chips. All you need are sweet potatoes, olive oil and an oven for a crunchy snack everyone will love.
Ants on a log
Fill celery with your favorite nut or seed butter and top with raisins for a classic kid favorite. A serving of nut butter is a good source of protein, and kids will love the natural sugar from the raisins.
Want a super-simple snack? Combine a variety of raw, unsalted nuts, like almonds, cashews, walnuts and macadamia nuts, in a serving bowl for a grab and go snack.
Transform a typical sandwich into kid-friendly kabobs. Serve up several combos like nut butter & jelly or sliced turkey, cheese and vegetables to appeal to all types of eaters.
For heartier fare, we love this recipe for spinach-parmesan meatballs that provides a good helping of leafy greens. If you have a picky eater, consider finely chopping the greens for less visible spinach.
As a fun surprise, have a few sweet treats on hand to celebrate your team’s victory—or to just celebrate a fun day together!
These tasty no-bake energy bites are easy to whip up at the last minute with no oven required. Natural peanut butter gives them a creamy consistency and familiar taste, while oatmeal, flaxseed and wheat germ add fiber.
Looking for an icy delight? Try “nice cream” instead of regular ice cream: Simply freeze a few mashed-up bananas and top or mix with anything from almond butter to dark chocolate chips to dried cherries.
There’s nothing better than cheering on your favorite team with family and friends. Whether you’re looking for the perfect halftime snack or a sweet treat to celebrate with, these easy and nutritious snacks will have you Super Bowl-ready in no time!