3 Recipes for Sunday’s Big Game

Author: Ally Gallop, MS, RD, CSSD
Football, chips and beer with football field in background

This Sunday, at least one of your friends will be hosting a football-viewing party in their living room.

Watching sports plays with our emotions as our adrenaline peaks and crashes. With a tasty spread of finger food within arm’s reach and with the stress of a championship game at stake, the risk of mindless eating is at an all-time high.

Reasons Why We Overeat When Watching Sports

Watching sports, or any television, while eating is a distraction–one that has been shown to lead to weight gain and 25-percent more calories being consumed.1 Besides avoiding eating, there’s no sure-fire way to prevent mindless eating or over-indulging, but these tricks can help:

  1. Portioning out your food: Even if the appies are finger foods, grab a plate and make your selection.
  2. Incorporating healthful foods and ingredients: Choosing healthful fats, protein, and fiber may increase your feelings of fullness, which may reduce how much you’re (mindlessly) eating.
  3. Using the same plate: A dirty plate with uneaten food scraps is a reminder that you have eaten. One study showed that football viewers who had their plates of chicken wing bones removed from the table by a waitress and replaced with fresh plates ate more wings, when compared to those viewers who did not have their dirtied plates removed.2

Now, onto the healthier recipes!

Three Recipes for a Healthier Football Party

Chips and guac for Sunday's big game

Creamy Guacamole  (Makes 1 bowl)


  • 2-3 ripe, pitted avocados
  • 2 spoonfuls of plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 spoonfuls of salsa

How to:

  1. Empty the contents of the avocados into a medium bowl. Mash with a fork for either a creamy or chunky texture.
  2. Add the yogurt and salsa. Stir to combine.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips, grilled whole-grain pita, and carrot and celery sticks.
Tray of nachos with 3 dips for Sunday's big game

Nacho Average Nachos (Makes 1 tray)


  • 1 10-ounce bag of whole grain or corn tortilla chips
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 10-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted, skinned, and chopped
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup creamy guacamole

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F.
  2. In a 9×13-inch oven-friendly dish, evenly spread one-third of the chips. Add one-third of the cheese, beans, and peppers.
  3. Create two more layers, alternating the chips with the cheese, beans, and peppers.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
  5. Once cooled, top with avocado and serve with salsa, yogurt, and creamy guacamole.
Bowl of chips with finished buffalo chicken dip for Sunday's big game

Buffalo Chicken Dip 2.0 (serves 6-8)
We used the recipe developed by Ali of the “Gimme Some Oven” blog.


  • 1 pound of lean ground chicken
  • ½ cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat cream cheese
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. ranch dressing

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Oil a 9×13-inch dish.
  2. Over medium heat, cook the chicken in a saucepan until white. Allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Once cooled, stir in the chicken.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared 9×13-inch dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Once cooled, serve with tortilla chips, grilled whole-grain pita, and carrot and celery sticks.

1 Robinson, E., Aveyard, P., Daley, A., Jolly, K., Lewis, A., Lycett, D., & Higgs, S. (2013). Eating attentively: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of food intake memory and awareness on eating. AJCN, 97(4): 728-742. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.045245

2 Wansink, B., & Payne, C.R. (2007). Counting bones: environmental cues that decrease food intake. Percept Motor Skills, 104(1): 273-276. doi: 10.2466/pms.104.1.273-276

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