Tailgating with Dairy

Tailgating parties involve friends, fun and favorite football foods. Most of the foods we enjoy on game day include dairy, and for good reason; dairy is a fan favorite. Not only that, but milk, cheese and yogurt are high in protein, which will keep you fueled throughout the game. Plus, dairy is an important part of MyPlate. Here are three great ways to include dairy in your next tailgate.

  1. Say cheese. In my house, you can’t have chili without cheese. Cheese provides some great flavor and some great nutrition. One serving of grated cheese is 1/3 cup. So, don’t just give it a sprinkle. Give yourself one full serving of cheese in your chili to get that calcium and protein you need to make it through the game. Here is a favorite dairy farm family chili recipe I serve on game day “Slow Cooker Chili”
  2. Pack a “tailgate-able” mini meal for the kids. Get creative with your delivery of MyPlate. Grab a plastic food container, line it with a few cupcake liners and add a food group to each cup. I love to add cheese cubes, pretzels, veggies, and fruit with yogurt dip for each of my mini teammates. This will help keep you from calling an audible at the concession stand, where you spend a fortune without nourishing growing bodies. This mini-meal idea is also the perfect post game snack for my second grade football player AND my fifth grade cheerleader. Go Team Dairy!   
  3. Choose milk. To really nourish your future hall of famers, pack a cooler with single serve milk. My kids almost always choose milk over sodas and sports drinks, so don’t sell their training table short on nutrition; offer the good stuff. Watch out for drinks that won’t improve your sideline cheering. Sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks can pack on the calories, without any many benefits. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends milk at meals and water in between. 

Try these simple tips to up your game, whether you attend the game, or just enjoy the tailgate.

By Susan Allen

Susan grew up on a farm in northwest Oklahoma and has over 30 years of experience working in agriculture. She has been part of the Dairy MAX team since 2007 and has worked with schools, health and wellness professionals and farmers. When she's not working, Susan is usually helping one of her kids with a 4-H project. Learn more about Susan

Get Content Like This in Your Inbox.