Friends fist bumping while watching a football game mid-day in living room.

Super Bowl Sunday: Healthy Tips and Recipes for the Big Game

The Super Bowl will take place on Sunday, Feb. 12. Whether or not your team is playing, or even if you like football, Super Bowl Sunday has become a tradition in many households. People host parties and gatherings – centered around not just football, but food and drinks.

Chips, dips, wings, pizza and tons of other snacks and drinks are often consumed in large quantities, but Super Bowl celebrations don’t have to mean getting off track with your health and fitness goals.

Chips, dips, wings, pizza and tons of other snacks and drinks are often consumed in large quantities, but Super Bowl celebrations don’t have to mean getting off track with your health and fitness goals. There are lots of fun, healthy recipes out there, as well as some other tips you can use to stay on track and still enjoy the big game.

Tips for a Healthier Super Bowl

  • Get a healthy start to the day. Don’t starve yourself in anticipation of eating loads of junk later in the day. Start with a healthy, filling breakfast and eat regular, healthy foods throughout the day until it’s time to celebrate. If you’re starving when you arrive at a party, you’re more likely to overindulge.
  • Find time to move. If you get the chance, do some form of exercise before the Super Bowl begins. Take a walk or do another activity you enjoy that gets your heart rate up. You could also use halftime to go outside and play catch, stretch or move around some more.Homemade Mexican black bean and corn salad or Texas caviar bean dip lime dressing, Served with tortilla chips and fresh ingredients.
  • Start with the healthy stuff first. Start by filling your plate with some healthy options like veggies and dip or some fruit. If you fill up on good choices first, you won’t feel deprived, and you’ll have less room for some of the other stuff.
  • Watch what you drink. During a celebration, it can be easy to lose track of how much you’re drinking. Pay attention to those calories too. Soda and certain alcoholic drinks can be full of sugar and empty calories. No matter what you’re drinking, add a glass of water in between to keep hydrated.
  • Enjoy yourself. Remember, it’s not just about food and drinks. Seek out meaningful conversation, get into the game (or the commercials) and try not to focus so much on the food.
  • Give yourself some healthy options. Sometimes you just need a healthy option to make better choices. Offer to bring something to a party or make something for your family at home other than high-calorie, high-fat foods. Check out the recipes below for some great ideas.
  • Make a plate. It’s easy to eat way more nachos or other snacks if you just keep reaching into a big bowl. If you make yourself a plate, you can limit the amount you’re eating.
  • Don’t deprive yourself. If you’ve been waiting to try some wings or a yummy dessert, then give yourself the opportunity to enjoy it. Watch your portion size and consider giving up something else in order to have what you really want.
  • Make it at home. If your menu is going to include things like wings, dips and pizza, consider making some of those things yourself. If you bake your chicken wings at home, they’ll still taste great, but they’ll be much healthier. You can make your favorite dips with low-fat sour cream or yogurt too.

Fun Game Day Recipes to Try

If you do a quick online search for healthy ideas for the Super Bowl, you’ll find a ton of recipes to try. An article on Food Network offers lightened-up versions of traditional recipes (like those listed below). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthy Teaching Kitchen also offers party recipes, snack recipes and much more. Find some new ideas to try out for Super Bowl Sunday or any other time.

Game day food for Super Bowl, bbq sauce wings

You can come up with your own healthy ideas as well. Consider stovetop popcorn with some creative spices or crunchy, roasted chickpeas instead of chips. Try using Brussels sprouts or cauliflower with buffalo sauce to get in some more veggies. You could also do burger bites on a toothpick or mini sliders instead of pizza or burgers for a lighter, smaller option.

If you’re ready to start planning your menu, check out these easy, healthy spins on some Super Bowl classics:


  • Baked Buffalo Wings With Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip: This Food Network recipe uses nonfat Greek yogurt, skim milk and other substitutions to create a healthier way to enjoy wings. Plus, they’re baked, not fried!
  • Honey Glazed Chicken Wings With Snow Peas: A combination of spices and a small amount of honey make these baked wings from the Food Network a great option over takeout wings. Serve them with snow peas, and you’ve even worked in a veggie. 


  • Lightened Up Slow Cooker Chicken Buffalo Dip: Food Network suggests making this party staple with reduced fat cream cheese and rotisserie chicken. Serve it with carrots and celery sticks, and you’ve got a great snack.
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip: VA’s Healthy Teaching Kitchen offers this recipe, which uses reduced fat cream cheese and Greek yogurt to make a delicious dip. And you’re getting in your greens with a package of spinach!
  • Black Bean and Corn Salsa: Between the black beans, corn, tomatoes and onion, you’ve got a flavorful, low-calorie treat with this VA salsa recipe. Pair it with their Homemade Tortilla Chips for a lighter way to eat a classic salty treat.


  • Cranberry Rosemary Sparkler: In addition to water and diet sodas, try this VA recipe which uses real cranberries and soda water for a low-calorie drink option.

Other Fun Recipe Ideas

  • Sweet Potato Skins: Food Network offers this twist on a classic potato skin. Use sweet potatoes, low-fat cheese and avocado for a healthier version of this snack.
  • Avocado Deviled Eggs: VA’s recipe uses avocado to add some healthy fat and creaminess to this high-protein snack.

If you’re planning on celebrating Super Bowl Sunday, try to use some of these tips and recipes to keep yourself on track!

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