Whether you’re a football fanatic or couldn’t care less, we can all unite around one thing on weekend football games: the food.

Watching your team is always more fun with friends, family and good food. But with games every weekend, your healthy diet may get out of control.

Top picks for game day include chicken wings, chili, meat-and-cheese trays, nachos, chips and dips galore. Often missing from the spread, however, are fruits and vegetables. If you’re afraid a veggie platter will play second string to the standard fare, pull a kitchen quarterback sneak by incorporating fresh foods in creative ways.

Imagine the cheers you’d get if you carved bell peppers into football-helmet shapes and used them to hold carrot and celery sticks. Watch the crowd go wild when you present a tray of dark chocolate-dipped strawberries decorated as miniature footballs. And savor a big win when guests throw back a few of your potato pigskins – a lighter and veggie-filled take on fried potato skins. Fruits and vegetables can add more variety, nutrition and color to the traditional super spread – and that’s a touchdown any day.

Loaded Potato Pigskins

Six servings


3 large russet potatoes

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

4 tbsp light sour cream

½ tsp. dried oregano

¼ tsp. garlic powder

½ c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 small tomato, diced

½ c. shredded cabbage


Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half into quarters. Arrange potato quarters on a parchment-lined baking sheet, skins facing up. Brush olive oil over the skins of the potatoes. Sprinkle salt and pepper over potatoes. Bake about 20 minutes or until potato flesh is easily pierced with a fork and skins are crisp and golden. Allow potatoes to cool to room temperature.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream, oregano and garlic powder; stir until well combined.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to remove most of the potato flesh from each quarter, leaving just a quarter-inch of the potato skin. Return skins to the same baking sheet, skin-side-down. Sprinkle cheese over potato skins and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Top each potato skin with a spoonful of diced tomato and shredded cabbage. Drizzle sour cream mixture over loaded skins and serve immediately.

Nutrition facts: 160 calories per serving. Amounts per serving – total fat, 6 grams; saturated fat, 3 grams; trans fat, zero; cholesterol, 15 milligrams; sodium, 480 milligrams; total carbohydrates, 21 grams; dietary fiber, 2 grams; total sugars, 2 grams; protein, 5 grams.

Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com.