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Give your game-day spread a heart-healthy makeover

Fitness, Recipes, Body

Hosting a game-day get-together? Since February is American Heart Month, why not put a heart-friendly spin on your spread? No matter how the game ends, you'll score big with the foods featured here. They're as tasty as they are good for your heart.

Take your pick of these heart-healthy party foods:

Delicious drinks

Cantaloupe crush. Whirl small cubes of cantaloupe, fat-free milk and ice in a blender.

Flavor rush. Blend 100-percent orange juice, ripe bananas, crushed ice and a dash of cinnamon until frothy.

First-down fizz. Mix sparkling water with 100 percent juice—in your team's colors.

Mulled and rolled. Bring the heat with mulled cider! Simmer 100 percent apple juice with cinnamon sticks, cloves and thinly sliced oranges.

Football finger foods

Salsa sneak. Spoon sweet or spicy salsa into small glasses. Then add chunks of roasted skinless chicken on toothpicks for easy dipping.

Spinach wheel route. Spread low-fat cream cheese on spinach tortillas. Add low-sodium turkey, sliced cucumbers, bell peppers and other fresh veggies. Cut each roll into bite-size slices.

Kabobs with a kick. Thread cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers with chucks of low-fat mozzarella on skewers. Or try cubes of melon and berries served with low-fat yogurt dip.

Fumble-free fries. Bake sweet potato wedges in the ovenServe with a low-fat yogurt dip flavored with honey mustard.

Make-your-own-meal bars

Baked potato blitz. Serve spuds with plenty of help-yourself toppings. Try chives, steamed broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, salsa, avocado, diced roasted chicken, low-fat shredded cheese, and low-fat sour cream or yogurt.

Nacho ball. Set out baked whole-wheat tortilla chips, diced roasted chicken, kidney beans, black beans, salsa, chopped cilantro, and low-fat cheese or sour cream.

Sandwich spot. Build this bar around whole-grain breads, wraps and rolls. Add an assortment of lean meats and fillers such as shredded carrots, cucumbers, fresh basil, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers. Try hummus and mustard as condiments.

Sweet endings

Cake keeper. Skip the frosting. Top angel food cake with puréed or sliced fruit instead.

End-zone drizzle. Spoon fat-free chocolate syrup over orange slices, and top with toasted sliced almonds. Or drizzle fat-free caramel sauce over baked pears.

Perfect-pass pudding. Make a brown rice pudding with low-fat milk. Stir in dried cherries or mashed ripe bananas.

Game-day parfait. Layer low-fat lemon pudding with blueberries and pineapple.

Also on the menu: Get-up-and-go fun

For a truly heart-healthy game day, come up with party games that will get everybody up and moving—before kickoff, at halftime or during the game. For instance:

  • Keep kids going with a football-themed scavenger hunt around your neighborhood or yard.
  • Rooting for different teams? Challenge each other to do a set of pushups for each first down the other team gets.
  • At halftime, head outside for a quick game of flag football or tag.

Your heart will thank you—and so will your guests.

Need more ideas for football fare?

Get cooking with these healthy recipes.