This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Football season is in high gear, which means pre-game tailgating and football parties. But eating healthy on game-day doesn’t have to mean raw veggie platters.  Here’s our 5 essentials for those who want to join in all the game-day celebrations without wrecking your wellness – consider this your “Eat Fit” Tailgate Toolkit.



Chicken Sausage – GF, Low Sat Fat, Low Carb

  • Easily 50% fewer calories and 75% less saturated fat than traditional pork sausage
  • Available in a variety of flavors; stores include Whole Foods, Rouses, Costco, Walmart
  • Pre-cooked, just heat on grill



Chicken Tenders – POPEYES | Blackened Tenders 

  • Non-battered, non-breaded Popeyes’ chicken tenders, made with Popeyes’ blackening  seasoning.
  • Per 3 pieces: 170 calories, 0 sat fat, 550 mg sodium, 2 grams carb, 0 fiber, 0 sugar, 26 grams protein
  • Ounce for ounce, nearly identical nutrition stats as grilled skinless chicken breast; main drawback is sodium.
  • Tip: For tailgate orders or orders larger than a dozen tenders, call ahead to let store location know order size + pickup time



Greek Yogurt

  • Fage 2% Plain is my preference for taste + texture when using it as an ingredient swap
  • Use plain Greek yogurt in place of mayo or sour cream for creamy dips – chicken salad – even mix with hummus or guacamole to cut calories + add protein



Good-for-you dippers that also squeeze in a dose of veggies

  • Jicama Sticks
  • Red, Yellow, Red Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini + Squash
  • Apple slices – perfect for creamy dips & chicken salad-style dips



Chilled Pasta Salads – made with protein-rich pasta like Banza Chickpea Pasta or Yellow Lentil Pasta

  • Replace white pasta (e.g. spirals, elbows, penne) with protein- and fiber-rich pasta for a dish that can pull double-duty as a side dish or even a protein-rich entrée.





Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her articles in Thrive Global!   Follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD – and check out her weekly podcast; just search ‘Molly Kimball’ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.