The WellSpan Spotlight

Diet and nutrition

Avoid getting sidelined with unhealthy eating this Super Bowl Sunday

Avoid getting sidelined with unhealthy eating this Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is not just about cheering on the Chiefs or the Eagles, watching the halftime show, or even the commercials. It's an experience that involves preparing and eating delicious snacks and comfort foods. From chips and nachos to chicken wings, it's easy to overdo it with too many fried, salty, and cheesy foods.

"The trick is to plan your menu ahead of time," said Christine Lutes, clinical dietitian, WellSpan Cardiac Rehabilitation. "Swap those store-bought, high-in-preservative snacks for some healthier, homemade ingredients and prepare your own dishes."

Lutes offers some healthy tips to help you power through the game:

  • Don't go to the Super Bowl party hungry. You may be more tempted to overindulge.

  • Start with the vegetables. It may help fill you up and help keep portions in control.

  • Think about lighter beverages. If you want to snack, remember that adding high-calorie beverages will not satisfy you. Make it fun with sparkling water, infused with fruits or mint.

  • How to sneak in some vegetables:
    • Try sweet potato nachos instead of chips. Bump up the fiber by adding beans and lots of vegetables. Go light on the sour cream and cheese or swap them for homemade salsa or guacamole. Sour cream can easily be swapped for Greek yogurt.

    • Try cauliflower "wings" instead of chicken wings. This adds a vegetable to your dish and avoids the fat in the chicken skin. Remember to go light on sauces and dressings.

    • Add a side of raw vegetables with a fun dip – hummus, guacamole, bean dip, or plain Greek yogurt with seasonings.

  • Don't deep fry foods, like chicken wings. Instead, fire up the grill, preheat the oven or use the air fryer. You can even air fry vegetables and beans. Have you tried roasted chickpeas?

  • Minimize mindless eating or grazing while you are distracted by the game. Fix a set plate and watch your portion sizes instead of standing by the food or sitting with a bowl in front of you.

"Eat your favorite foods, but remember to eat in moderation," Lutes added. "Enjoy the game and the company instead of making food the main focus."

Continue those healthy food habits with Winter STREAK

WellSpan's Winter STREAK program is free to participants and promotes wellness by encouraging them to keep up a "STREAK" by stringing together daily and consistent habits. The program includes wellness workshops and other resources, runs through March 23, and participants can join at any time.

The program also contains a Wellness Guide that encourages participants to set goals, get active, make healthy food choices with some great recipes, and learn to minimize stress. It's a fun and effective way to increase health and well-being during the cold winter months.