Give Your Super Bowl Party a Healthy Makeover

By Charlotte Bumstead

We all know the Super Bowl is not just about the football game. It’s also about snacking on otherwise off-limits foods – like nachos, queso dips and pigs-in-a-blanket. But come the end of the fourth quarter, the only regret you should have is perhaps the wager you made or your bathroom break timing – not the food you ate, which leaves you feeling bloated and nauseous for the rest of the night.

Zoomer speaks with holistic nutritionist Jenn Pike about how to avoid the nasty food hangover. Pike suggests delicious, yet healthy, alternatives for your Super Bowl snacking. When the celebrations end, so should the party in your stomach.

Five Tips for Careful Indulgence

1. Choose your seat wisely. “Don’t sit right in front of the food,” says Pike. “It’s going to be mindless eating.” And you don’t need to snack every time you pass by.

2. Set a limit. When snacking, it’s difficult to keep track of how much you’re eating. Decide ahead of time how many snacks you’ll try and stick to it.

3. Have only one drink an hour. Limit yourself to following the rate your body takes to metabolize the alcohol. Remember to balance it out by drinking water. “Drinking too much alcohol lowers our inhibitions,” Pike says. “All of a sudden, we have this Mary Poppins’ sized stomach and we feel a whole lot worse for it afterwards.”

4. Don’t forget your dinner. Skipping a meal to save room for snacking is not a good idea. Eating a healthy meal before the game will help harness your appetite.

5. Burn it off. Follow through with your usual workout routine. Even on the day of the big game, remember to squeeze in your 10 to 15 minutes of cardio.

Pike’s Healthy Snack Alternatives:

Black Bean Corn Salsa

“This is a great way to add more nutritional value to your regular salsa,” says Pike. For example:

— Combine a jar of salsa with half a can of black beans and half a can of corn.

— Instead of serving really salty, sodium-rich nachos, try a whole wheat cracker, veggie sticks or corn chips (but make sure they are corn-based and that they don’t have wheat). “Go for the unsalted version,” Pike says. “There’s going to be so much flavour coming out of that salsa.”


“Avocados tend to get a bad rap because they have a lot of fat, but they’re a really good, healthy, essential fatty acid,” says Pike. “So that type of fat is the type our bodies are going to hold onto and store. Our bodies are going to use it to nourish the skin, the hair and the nails.”

Turkey Sliders
“Here’s something that people have a lot during super bowls – those mini burgers,” Pike says. A few ideas:

— Use lean ground turkey as opposed to ground beef to lower the amount of saturated fat.

— Load it up with veggies.

— Serve with Dijon mustard and avoid heavy sauces.


“Stay away from a lot of the ranch dip or even the spinach dip,” says Pike. “Anything that’s thick, heavy and creamy – change it up.”

— Try hummus, roasted red pepper dip, baba ganoush or edamame dip for a healthy substitute.

— Serve with veggies or whole wheat pita bread.

Here’s a recipe for pita bread to serve with your dips, instead of chips.

Pita Dippers

12 whole wheat pita bread pockets
1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) garlic salt
1/2 tsp (2 ml) black pepper
1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried basil

Cut pitas into 8 wedges each; place on cookie sheet. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl and brush over pita wedges. Bake in 400 oven for 8 to 10 minutes.