September 10, 2015

Footy finals are here and all over Australia and New Zealand, people will be changing their routines to make sure they can watch their favourite teams. Let’s not get into the merits (or otherwise) of the different codes: the thing they all have in common for spectators is the practice of eating food that doesn’t help you move toward your health and wellness goals.

Naturally when it’s cold you want some warming food, especially if you’re braving the elements as a spectator. Whether it’s pies or hot dogs or pizza or chips, and whether it’s washed down by beer or soft drinks or a hot coffee, footy food is hardly healthy food.

You can make a choice, of course, about whether to just chow down on typical footy food, but if you’d prefer to both enjoy the game and look after your body, you may need to do a little pre-game preparation.

So how can you enjoy your footy finals traditions and still keep your weight and wellness goals on-track? Naturally the answer will be different if you’re watching the game on TV than if you’re going to the local game or attending at a major stadium, but there are definitely some ideas to adopt.

  1. Snack on nuts and olives, or a protein bar.
  2. Serve vegie sticks with dip, pate and cheese, and take in a Tupperware or serve on a plate.
  3. Hot soup is wonderful when you’re outside – take a thermos and keep warm.
  4. Cook up a big frittata in a baking tray, then cut into serving sizes – either as finger food or as a meal. Wrap it in foil if you’re going out so it’s still warm when time to eat.
  5. Make cauliflower pizza bases and have everyone top their own just before the start of a televised game.
  6. Oven bake wedges made from potato and sweet potato, and top with tomato relish, aioli, or sour cream.
  7. Cook some gourmet sausages and serve them with fried onions, tomato relish and lettuce.
  8. Marinate then bake a batch of chicken wings – they’re always a favourite whether you’re at home or at the game.
  9. Meat balls or chicken cubes grilled on skewers make excellent hot finger-food.
  10. Drink water. Tap water, bottled water, and sparkling water are all fine. Take it with you if you’re going out.

These are just a few simple ideas that will allow you to follow your healthy plans while still enjoying the game. What other ideas do you have?