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Tips for Healthy Tailgating

Kidney Friendly TailgatingAre you ready for some football? It’s that exciting time of year again (go team!), and tailgating events are picking up speed. Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. and FMCNA offer ways for dialysis patients and their families to enhance football-season cuisine.

As you prepare your tailgating feast, consider the following tips:

Ideas for a Kidney-Friendly Football Feast

  • Use a dry rub, rather than marinade, to prepare spicy chicken or turkey wings for tailgate grilling. If more seasoning is needed, serve with Weber’s or other low-sodium barbecue sauce on the side. Try this tip on Chef McCargo's Dry Rubbed Barbecue Turkey Wings.
  • Skip the beans, which are high in potassium, when making chili. Instead, try this delicious kidney-friendly chili recipe with turkey breast, sauteed onions, bell pepper and celery. Try this tasty Turkey Chili.
  • Serve smoky salmon dip with celery sticks or carrots, for a tasty, protein-rich chilled appetizer that’s low in sodium and phosphorus. Treat tailgaters with this Smoky Salmon Dip.
  • Spice up turkey burgers with diced jalapeno peppers, lime and smoked mozzarella cheese, for a low-fat grilling alternative. Jazz up your Turkey Burgers.
  • Opt for orzo, a low-fat pasta resembling rice, as the base for an appetizing fall harvest salad that combines apples, cherries, basil, blue cheese and almonds. Please a crowd with a Fall Harvest Orzo Salad.
  • Remember the basics: Don’t forget paper plates, napkins and plenty of ice in the cooler to keep your food cold.
  • Stick to low-stress recipes: Foods that use simple ingredients and tools will let you spend less time cooking, and more time watching the game.
  • Make a grocery list and read food labels’ nutrition facts: Advance planning and careful shopping can help you avoid making poor choices in football food.
  • Choose salt-free snacks: To satisfy your crunchy cravings, slice corn tortillas into wedges, spray with non-stick cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes. For extra flavor, brush with lime juice and sprinkle with your favorite salt-free seasoning mix.
  • Make food ahead, in individual servings: Pre-cooking and portioning, when possible, makes meals faster and easier to serve, and to clean up. You’ll also be less likely to overeat.

Don't feel like you have to sit on the sidelines - tailgating can still be fun on a dialysis diet. Visit our recipe center to discover delicious and easy to make dialysis-friendly recipes that will make you the most valuable player at any party!