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Game day grub: Tackle healthy snack solutions

Written By: Shelley Vanker, UT Physicians | Updated: February 9, 2024
Healthy snack recipes like a vegetable platter with football ball for american football game party.

Create a healthy feast for the big game that is sure to win over the crowd.

As millions of Americans crowd around the television for the big game, Sunday, Feb. 11, UTHealth Houston experts warn against packing in the calories too.

Whether you’re watching for the commercials, the sports action, or the guaranteed Taylor Swift sighting, the comradery generated around the silver screen is sure to whip up an appetite.

Gladys Ortiz, RD, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist with the UT Physicians Women’s Center, has simple tips to fill your game day meal with superfoods.

“Aim to pair sources of fiber, protein, and healthy fats as much as you can,” said Ortiz. “And look for sources of color and nutrition.”

She also recommends some pre-game preparation. “Do some exercise early in the day, drink plenty of water, and eat regular meals on Sunday before the game, so you are not starving when the watch party begins,” said Ortiz. “These things will set you up for winning choices and smaller portions.”

Presenting winning recipes:

Creamy avocado dip


  •  1 large avocado, pit removed
  •  3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  •  2-3 Tbsp ranch seasoning mix (store-bought or homemade)
  •  1 garlic clove
  •  1 lime, juiced


  1. Combine Greek yogurt, avocado, seasoning, garlic, and lime juice in a food processor and blend until smooth.

*Recipe inspired by Gladys Ortiz, UT Physicians

Ann E. Redwine, RD
Ann Redwine, RD

Simple guacamole


  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 white or yellow onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Peel avocados, remove and set pits aside
  2. In a bowl, mash avocados
  3. Cut onion into quarters
  4. Grate 1-2 quarters of onion into mashed avocado. Blend with a fork.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and eat immediately
  6. Insert pits into leftover guacamole to prevent browning when stored. 

*Recipe inspired by Ann Redwine, RD, UT Physicians

Skinny Enchiladas by Christie Broglen


  • 16 oz fat-free sour cream
  • 1 can fat-free cream of chicken soup
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 ½ cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • 1 can Mexican-style Rotel
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 8 low-carb tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack and Colby cheese blend
  • 1 can diced green chilis


  1. In a saucepan, mix sour cream, soup, and cilantro. Heat through and set aside. (This will get bubbly and boil quickly so don’t stop stirring!)
  2. Combine the chicken, Rotel, onions, and green chilis in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray. 
  3. Heat until onions are transparent.
  4. Spray 8” x 11” baking dish with cooking spray.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F
  6. Warm tortillas until flexible.  (Sandwich between damp paper towels and microwave for 10 seconds.)
  7. Fill each tortilla with 2 Tbsp chicken mixture.
  8. Top with 1 tablespoon cheese and roll up the tortilla.
  9. Place seam side down in an 8” x 11” baking dish
  10. Pour sour cream mixture over enchiladas.
  11. Top with remaining cheese.
  12. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted.   

*Recipe inspired by Ann Redwine, UT Physicians

Swedish meatballs


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 ½ cup soft bread white bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp white pepper
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • ¼ cup flour


  1. Mix beef, bread crumbs, milk, onion, egg, and seasonings in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pinch off small pieces of mixture and form meatballs about 1 ½” in diameter.
  3. Roll meatballs in flour.
  4. Heat butter in a large frying pan.  Do not overheat butter. 
  5. Cook meatballs until brown.

*Recipe inspired by Ann Redwine, UT Physicians

Healthy snacking tips

  • Fill up on the vegetable tray first
  • Choose veggies over chips for dipping
  • Limit alcohol
  • Drink one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage
  • Make sliders instead of full burgers
  • Enjoy only one plate of food

As the final whistle blows, let these nutritious game day delights fuel your victory both on and off the field, ensuring that every fan enjoys a winning combination of flavor and health.

For more recipe ideas, check out last year’s lineup.

As the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, UT Physicians has locations across the Greater Houston area to serve the community. To schedule an appointment, call 888-4UT-DOCS.