Take a Tailgate Time Out
Before you dive into the buffet, follow these tips to curb your caloric intake:
• Earn a little splurge on Saturday afternoon by saving a few food items from your eating plan during the week.
• Before the festivities begin, have a small snack that contains protein and fiber (like cereal and yogurt) so you'll be less tempted to overeat.
• Survey all the offerings before you load your plate, then select plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean dairy and protein.
• Eat from a plate instead of continually grazing from the buffet. This will help you keep track of how much you're eating.
• Remember that alcohol has plenty of calories. One tactic is to alternate alcoholic drinks with zero-calorie beverages throughout the day. Remember that too much alcohol can lead to increased hunger.
Score Points With Guests
If you're the party host, do your fellow fans a favor by making sure your buffet includes plenty of healthy offerings such as:
• Fresh fruit, sliced or in salads or kabobs
• Assorted vegetables with low-fat dips and salsas
• Low-fat snacks such as popcorn, pretzels, and baked chips
• Lean meats and seafood and low-fat cheeses
• Whole-grain breads and crackers
• Salads made with light dressings
• Salsas, wraps, salads, or stews made with fiber-filled and high- protein beans
Touchdown Tips for Food Safety
According to the American Dietetic Association, the average sports fan partakes in tailgating five times during a football season. And according to a recent survey, most tailgaters take unnecessary food-poisoning risks. Food is often kept at temperatures that promote bacterial contamination. Many tailgaters also recycle pre-game picnic food to eat again after the game.
Follow these guidelines to keep your food out of the danger zone:
• Make sure foods that will be served cold are cold before you put them in the cooler.
• Don't use a cooler that's too large. A full cooler will keep foods cold longer.
• Carefully package raw meat. Put it in the bottom of the cooler to avoid drips and cross-contamination
• Pack coolers just before you leave for the game, and use ice packs to maintain temperatures.
• Use a thermometer in your cooler to be sure foods stay at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Keep coolers out of the sun, perhaps under a tree.
• Bring waterless hand sanitizer or moistened towelettes to keep hands clean.
• Bring a meat thermometer to ensure that burgers and brats are cooked to 160 degrees and chicken breasts to 170 degrees.
• Throw away any perishable foods that are left from your pre-game picnic so no one will be tempted to eat them after the game.
• Do not leave food unrefrigerated for more than two hours. In hot weather (90 degrees or above), the time limit is one hour.