Super Bowl parties can offer major temptations for dieters, from fat-loaded dips to high-sodium chips. I interviewed dietitian Estela Schnelle, author of Weekly Bite and NFRA spokesperson, who gave us a few tips about staying healthy during this year’s football frenzy by utilizing frozen foods.
How do frozen foods compare nutritionally to fresh foods?
ES: Most frozen fruits and vegetables have been picked at their peak of ripeness, thus allowing it to be nutrient packed. The freezing process preserves nutrients in foods, making frozen foods a great alternative to fresh foods. In general, frozen fruits and vegetables can be less expensive and more convenient than their fresh counterparts.
With the Super Bowl right around the corner, what advice can you give to someone hosting a get-together that is looking to stay healthy but still have a delicious spread?
ES: I love that frozen foods and ready-made appetizers can be baked and not fried to avoid additional fat and calories. When shopping for frozen foods the key is looking for meals with fewer ingredients. They are the perfect addition to your appetizer or meal.
What are some of the best frozen appetizers and finger-foods in your opinion that could work at this type of get-together?
ES: Using frozen spinach in spinach dip is a great option, along with low-fat ingredients. Making a spinach dip with frozen, thawed, drained spinach combine with light sour cream and cream cheese is a great start to a light appetizer. One of my favorite party appetizers is shrimp cocktail. All you have to do is by a frozen bag a cooked shrimp, run the shrimp under cold water until thawed, arrange on a platter and enjoy with cocktail sauce.
What are some to avoid?
ES: Instead of eating the traditional fried mozzarella sticks and chicken wings, look for foods that contain fruits & veggies such as low-fat spinach dip and pizza loaded with veggies in them just to name a few.
What tips would you give to someone who is attending a Super Bowl party to look for and avoid?
ES: What it comes down to is moderation. As a dietitian, I truly feel that eating healthy is important, but even more, I believe it is how much you eat combined with what you that even more important. I would rather have a bite or two of something not so healthy, then overeating on the so-called "healthy” food.
Can you list some of your favorite frozen brands?