It’s football season and football fanatics know it’s more about the game that makes fans tune in week after week – but the food, too! Football and food are almost synonymous with each other. You can’t have one without the other, whether you are an athlete or a fan watching from the couch at home.
As a Registered Dietitian and football fan, I am aware that nutrition is not at the forefront of everyone’s mind when it comes to meals and snacks enjoyed during a football game. Yet with the right game plan, you can have those tasty treats and still incorporate some nutritious options!
Rather than starving all day to save up for your favorite treats during the game, break up your day into quarters, like they do on the field. First quarter, start the morning with a nutritious breakfast like blueberry flax overnight oats. This game-winning combination of milk, yogurt, oatmeal and fruit will provide protein and fiber to keep you full and energized throughout the morning and ready to cheer on your favorite team.
Ease into second quarter with a workout, followed by a tasty recovery smoothie. This protein-packed smoothie will replenish and revive you. Get ready for the second half of your day with a balanced lunch that includes at least three of the five food groups. Try this crowd-pleasing chili.
Finish strong in the fourth quarter with a trick play for the big party with these delicious mini chocolate cheesecakes. Even decadent desserts can be enjoyed guilt-free when downsized. They are full of flavor and just the right size.
Whether you’re hosting a gameday party or just looking for inspiration for your everyday meals, check out The Dairy Alliance recipes.
Diana Nguyen, MS, RD, LD, CSSD is the Director of Sports Nutrition for NC State athletics, with a primary focus on football. Nguyen’s top priority is to help each individual athlete achieve his and her performance goals through nutrition. Nguyen presides over all aspects of the Wolfpack Sports Nutrition program and oversees the needs of 23 varsity teams.