Bracket snacks for tourney time

There is a good amount of madness in March! Chances are you are going to munch on food while watching these games. Did you know there are some foods that you could choose that would benefit your health but still allow you to indulge and enjoy? Below you will find some tasty yet healthy tips for the games.

Typically, during game-watching parties we reach for high-fat foods. Chips, dips, fried chicken wings, and many other popular game eats can pack a lot of calories. One rule of thumb to help you score a lot of points is to shoot for healthy fats. Foods like nuts and avocados contain unsaturated fats, which have been linked to helping lower LDL cholesterol levels. Plus, these foods also contain other helpful nutrients. Here are a few ideas to help you incorporate these nutritionally-packed foods:

Fastbreak Trail Mix – Put out bowls of dried fruit, Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal, dark chocolate pieces, and an assortment of nuts for your guests. Encourage guests to make their own trail mix.

Rockin’ Guac – Check out this website for an awesome guacamole recipe: Serve with carrots or pretzel thins for a great snack.

Nuttin’ but Net Almond Butter Spread – Mix almond butter with a pinch of cinnamon for a healthy dose of protein and healthy fats. It’s excellent on sliced apples!

Another way to score is to choose foods packed with antioxidants. Fruits, vegetables and beans are all great examples. Antioxidants help prevent oxidation of our cells by unwanted free radicals. These free radicals can cause damage to our cells which may lead to increased aging, disease, and/or cancer. A diet rich in antioxidants may help to prevent damage caused by free radicals. Here are a few ideas to boost antioxidant foods during the game:

Chocolate Breakaways – Skewer cubed fruit and drizzle with dark chocolate.

Slam Dunk Sweet Potato Chips – Cut the fat and calories and choose this chip instead!

Half Court Hummus – Choose hummus as a healthier alternative to high-fat dips. Dip vegetables of all colors for multiple health benefits. Most yellow and orange vegetables contain beta-carotene, which is great for eye health!

Sometimes we are so focused on the game that we tend to eat too much. One way to prevent overeating is to be mindful of what you are putting in your mouth. Try to eat away from the T.V. or try strategies to help slow down the eating process like drinking water between bites. If you want to eat in front of the T.V., portion out a serving size so you’re not tempted to eat the whole bag. Another tip is to fill up with fiber. Studies show that people who eat more fiber in their day, feel full for longer, and often consume fewer calories. Try these foods to increase your fiber score:

“It’s Heatin’ Up” Edamame – Try sprinkling coarse salt and cayenne pepper on your steamed edamame pods for a fun and festive spin.

Post Up Parfait – Fruit and granola are both loaded with fiber. Add them to Greek yogurt to make the “dream team!”

BOOMCHICKAPOP™ Popcorn – Popcorn is a great source of fiber that is also naturally low in calories.

For further assistance in finding healthy game day options, stop into your local Hy-Vee. Go team!



Serves: 1

Total time: 5


1 slice of whole grain bread

½ ripe, Avocados from Mexico, mashed

Choose Your Own ‘


Tropical: Mango + Coconut Flakes

Berry Berry: Strawberries + Blueberries

Chunky Monkey: Chocolate Chips + Banana

Spicy Eggs: Fried Egg + Sriracha drizzle

Miss Piggy: Honey + Bacon

Surfs Up: Smoked salmon + Tomato

Pom Poms: Pomegranate Arils + Pineapple

Power Melons: Watermelon + Cantaloupe

Just Peachy: Peaches + Raspberries 



The information is not intended as medical advice.

Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.


Laura Schmidt is a registered dietitian representing Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.