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Simple swaps you can make to your favorite football foods without sacrificing taste

MILWAUKEE -- It's that time of year again when the beer starts flowing -- and the smell of brats and charcoal fill the air. But tailgating isn't known for being the healthiest hobby. Meghan Daw, a registered dietitian with Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, join Real Milwaukee with ways you can make your football snacks better for you.

Make Simple Swaps

  • Making simple swaps for healthier ingredients in any recipe can be easy and make a big difference.
  • For example, try swapping out sour cream for non-fat plain Greek yogurt. Similar in texture and consistency, Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium, which helps maintain our bone and muscle health. It`s much lower in fat and calorie content, and it even packs a protein punch that sour cream lacks. In addition to protein, Greek yogurt provides probiotics, which are friendly and helpful bacteria in our gut to keep our tummy troubles at bay!
  • For dip, we've also chosen to use sweet potato bites instead of tortilla chips; this too is such a simple swap that can make a huge difference.

Sneak the Veggies

  • It's chili cook-off season and what better way to win the chili contest then by having a flavor filled pot of chili to tailgate with. Here, veggies are easy to add, and your friends will thank you!
  • Most chili contains meat such as ground beef, turkey or chicken, but did you know that ground Portobello mushrooms contain the same flavor and consistency as ground meat? Portobello mushrooms are filled with vitamin D and selenium which may help with inflammation in the body. When looking at your recipe for chili try substituting half the meat in your recipe with ground Portobello mushrooms to help lower the calorie and fat content of your dish.
  • Instead of using bowls, use pre-made veggie cups. These are an easy way to get colorful veggies into your tailgating meal that are delicious and nutritious too!

Get Your Grill On

  • Tailgating is a perfect atmosphere for grilling but not everything we put on the grill is the healthiest for us.
  • When we are thinking about proteins, choose lean cuts of meat, including poultry with the skin pulled off, fish, and well-trimmed lean cuts of beef, lamb and pork.
  • As for burgers, look for turkey or grass-fed beef which is a little leaner than traditional beef, but still just as tasty. Typically, higher in heart healthy fats like omegas 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, grass fed beef will be a crowd pleaser too.
  • Now for condiments, focus on leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and other veggies to top off your favorite tailgate food. Condiments can contain a lot of sugar and calories so be sure to read the label and choose condiments like mustard to add a little pop of flavor.

Hydrate Well

  • Of course, tailgating calls for a refreshing cold beer or beverage, but don`t forget to drink lots of water while cheering on your favorite team. It is recommended to drink between 9-13 glasses of water a day. This may be hard to do on game day but consider drinking a water for every other beverage you consume; this will also keep your stomach full throughout the day.