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Make March Madness tastier with these snacks

By ALETHEA PRICE

Community columnist 

It’s the time of year for basketball, family, friends, and lots of watch-party food. With the intensity of the game and all the noise from a party, it may be difficult to focus on appropriate portions and healthful eating. Also, many people may find it difficult to enjoy traditional watch-party snacks when trying to maintain a healthy diet. Rather than dismissing your favorite Big Blue Madness foods, here are tips and tricks for being confident in your food choices during the basketball season.

  • Practice mindful eating. Before you go for another snack or plate of food, take a moment to think about how your body feels. Ask yourself what you have eaten today. Are you hungry or really thirsty? What was your favorite snack you’ve had today? Taking a few seconds to check in with yourself can help you make mindful and healthy decisions.
  • Use a plate or bowl. There are always so many food options at watch parties, and it is easy to keep reaching for more food without realizing it. Using a plate or a bowl can help portion out your snacks and keep you conscious of the amount of food you are eating.
  • Make healthy substitutions. Incorporate lots of fruits and veggies on your plate. Raw veggies are a great replacement for chips to keep the crunch, and fruit is always great to eat when you have a sweet craving. Make your fruits and veggies more exciting with a variety of dips.
  • Drink enough water. Sugar-sweetened and alcoholic beverages are most always available at basketball watch parties. It is important to continue to drink water to stay aware of how much you are consuming and to stay hydrated.
  • Exercise in the morning. Start your day off with a healthy activity, such as walking, going to the gym, or exercising at your home. This will help offset your couch time while watching the game and help you feel better throughout the day.

Here are some of my favorite go-to game day snacks that are not so bad for you. Veggies make great dippers in a variety of things. Homemade ranch dressing with plain nonfat Greek yogurt is an easy 2 step healthy snack. Just combine 2 cups of yogurt with a dry ranch seasoning packet and refrigerate. I also love fruit with yogurt dip made from plain yogurt and honey or vanilla yogurt with cinnamon. 

 

For more information on how to make healthy game day snacks contact the Boyle County Extension Office. Email me at a.price@uky.edu.