Healthy Tailgating with Kids

On the Set of CBS Better Mornings Atlanta for Tailgating with Kids

This morning I had the pleasure of appearing on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta to talk about child-friendly tailgating food. Not only are these foods child-friendly, but healthy too. Vegetables are often overlooked on game day buffet tables, but here are some creative ways to get more veggies on the table that your children will actually eat:

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dip is a great way to take advantage of apples at the peak of their season. While Halloween may be over, pumpkin is a versatile ingredient that boasts good vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber and low in calories – paired it with peanut butter, which is a great protein-packed snack and this is one tasty treat.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dip

½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
½ cup pumpkin puree
2 tbsp apple cider
1 tsp honey
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients together and use for a dip for fresh fruit.

Zucchini Pizza Bites are a fun twist on pizza bites using zucchini rounds for the pizza crust. Let your children make their own with their favorite toppins, which can then be grilled or broiled in the oven.

Zucchini Pizza Bites

2 large zucchini
4 oz tomato sauce
½ tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp minced garlic
Part-skim Mozzarella cheese
Turkey pepperoni, chopped

1. Slice the zucchini into 1/4″ rounds. Grill or broil on each side for several minutes or until it begins to brown. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, mix the tomato sauce with the Italian seasoning and garlic.

3. Put a small teaspoon of sauce on the zucchini round and top with cheese and chopped turkey pepperoni, if desired.

4. Grill or broil pizza bites until cheese is melted.

Buffalo Chicken Kabobs are a great alternative to fried chicken wings that still have the wonderful buffalo flavor. And go ahead and put the celery on the skewer, it is surprisingly delicious grilled. If spicy isn’t your child’s thing then use bbq sauce instead.

Buffalo Chicken Kabobs

1.5 pounds chicken, cut into big pieces

½ cup Frank’s Buffalo Sauce

2 tbsp Blue Cheese dressing

3 stalks of celery, chopped into big pieces

1. Combine well in a large bowl the chicken, buffalo sauce and dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

2. Thread the chicken and celery onto skewers. Grill until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in center. Serve with additional Buffalo sauce and Blue Cheese dressing if desired.

White Bean Blondies were the surprise hit of the television segment. You would not believe from tasting these that they don’t contain any flour so it is perfect for those who have a gluten sensitivity or looking for a fiber boost to satisfy their sweet tooth. I wish I could take credit for the recipe, but you can find it here on the super-talented and creative Regan Miller Jones’ blog, The Professional Palate.

No tailgate is complete without talking beverages. While water is always the preferred choice and can be made all the more fun by adding fruit for a little color and flavor, sometimes children want something more. Rather than turn to soda or the shiny pouches of juice-like beverages, make your own natural fizzy drink. Combine flavored seltzer water with 100% fruit juice and garnish with frozen fruit. For the segment, I used raspberry flavored seltzer with white grape peach juice and garnished with frozen raspberries.

Happy tailgating!