World Cup Munchies!

 Yes, it’s finally world cup frenzy! It is that time of year where we breathe, eat and drink football aka the time where crisps, beer, chicken wings and you name it are always on the menu! And I must admit, even for a dietitian, that menu can be more frequent than I would like! So here are my tips on how to “try”and be healthy during the world cup games…

Tips for entertaining people at home – When providing nibbles choose:

* Low fat dips made with low fat cream cheese or ricotta mixed with spring onion/chives, capsicum & lemon juice. Tomato based salsa is always a good dip to have around. Serve dip with a colourful mix of vegetable sticks and wholegrain crackers.

* Use bread sticks or mini pita breads for dipping. If you want to provide crisps – choose low fat/low salt chips. Ones that are baked and use oils such as canola/sunflower.

*Char grill or bake roma tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini and eggplant for a vegetable antipasto. Spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle with herbs before cooking.

* If you offer a cheese platter, use a cheese slicer to keep serves of cheese small and use lots of different dried fruits and crackers for interest. Also, serve a fruit platter with a low fat yoghurt dip on the side.

If you are going for Take Away, keep the following in mind:

  Try to limit take-away foods such as pastries, pies, pizza, hamburgers and creamy pasta dishes to once a week.

  BBQ Chicken Choose the breast meat. Remove the skin and fat and limit gravy and stuffing. Serve with salad or vegetables rather than hot chips.

  Asian meals: Choose steamed rice, mixed vegetable dishes, lean meats (beef, lamb, pork or chicken), fish, seafood and stir fries. Try to limit dishes based on fried noodles, battered or crumbed deep-fried meats or seafood, coconut cream/milk and ghee.

  Hamburgers/Steak Sandwiches: Ask for lean grilled meat and lots of salad. When possible, ask for extra salad and a wholegrain bun.

  Italian: Choose pasta dishes with vegetable based sauces. Also, ask of the entreé size & have a side salad/cooked vegetables. Choose thin crust pizza with lots of vegetables. Try to avoid salami and sausage meats. Ask for lean meats and small amounts of cheese or reduced fat cheese.

  Lebanese/Greek: Choose donor/shish kebab/shawerma in pita bread (preferably wholemeal) with tabouli or with salad. Try to avoid fried starters such as samosas/fried “kebbeh”/sausages.

  Salad bars: Try to choose salads with dressings made from balsamic vinegar or oils such as canola, sunflower and olive oils, or choose salads with dressing on the side.

  Sandwiches and bread rolls: Ask for sandwiches and bread rolls to be wholemeal/wholegrain. Add reduced saturated fat fillings like lean meat, low or reduced fat cheese, skinless chicken, salmon, tuna and plenty of salad vegetables.

Watch the Booze! Watching the game at a pub or at a friend’s house will more than often involve lots and LOTS of drinking. So here are a few tips to consider:

  • Sip rather than drink, and put your glass down between sips.
  • Use standard drink sizes to keep track of how much you’re  having. Some glasses will hold much more than one standard drink.
  • Stick to a certain limit on the number of drinks that you’re going to have.
  • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks & ALWAYS have water around – ask for a bottle of water to keep at the table.
  • If you are thirsty, do not use alcohol as means of quenching that thirst!
  • Avoid drinking “rounds” or “shouts” and do not be afraid to SKIP one! No one will think less of you.
  • Don’t top up your drinks before you have finished.

Game On People!! Good luck to all! 

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