Family-friendly, healthier football party snacks

Published On: Feb 01 2014 08:10:11 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 01 2014 12:00:00 AM EST

If your Super Bowl party spread typically scores a touchdown, then consider a good choice of snacks as the extra point.  There are lots of super snacks you typically find in a bowl that are great for adults and kids at any football party.

Carrie Gonzales, a pediatric registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Children's, says homemade snacks are great for football fans young and old.

"You can try and make homemade baked pita chips with hummus," Gonzales suggested. "The other thing you can do instead of that 7-layer dip with the fried tortilla chips is to make your own homemade chips and then also, make homemade guacamole."

Gonzales says making your own chips will still give you that crunch, but it will be much healthier.  The same goes for homemade dips and guacamole because you control the ingredients.

You can swap pretzels for popcorn because pretzels are typically made with a refined grain, which our body recognizes as sugar. Popcorn has lots of fiber and more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables but remember not to pile on the butter and salt.  

And speaking of fruits and vegetables, Gonzales says a good game plan for you, and the kids, is to fill up before the party starts.

"Just like when you go to a party sometimes we recommend to eat a salad beforehand, so you don't overdo it with what's there. Same thing goes for super bowl parties," said Gonzales. "If there are fruits and vegetables that are there that are higher in fiber, those will fill you up first, so you're less likely to overdo it with the chips and dips."

Gonzales also recommends paying attention to portion-sizes. Grab the smaller bowl and take a little less to help keep your calorie count under control.