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Are You Ready for Some Football (Food)?!

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Guest blogger JJ Virgin: Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that football season has arrived! NFL teams are already in the throes preseason play, and our favorite collegiate teams are gearing up to take the field starting this weekend. With football comes the opportunity to tailgate -- one of my favorite pastimes. There's nothing like the anticipation of a game, a group of friends and great food (well, sometimes the food is great).

vegetable kebab
Typical tailgating fare is notoriously unhealthy: chicken wings, hamburgers, kielbasas, greasy chips, etc. Below are some party options that will leave you feeling not only fulfilled, but ready to take on the opposing team! And best of all, they're kid-friendly, too!

Veggie Kabobs
Marinate colorful bell peppers, onions, zucchini and mushrooms with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, then throw them on the grill.

If football were a food, it would be chili! The steamy, warming soup is a favorite at tailgate parties and can make a guest appearance at yours, too -- as long as you agree to swap out the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey and stock it chock-full of beans.

Buffalo-Chicken Skewers
Instead of serving chicken wings (which contain fatty skin and a pathetic amount of healthful meat), put lean chicken-breast meat onto skewers and brush it with buffalo sauce. Yumola!

Sub Sandwiches
An easy tailgate favorite, many subs are loaded with mayonnaise and cheese and contain fat-ridden cold cuts such as salami. Transform yours by using whole-grain bread and sliced turkey or chicken and trading the mayo for mustard.

Fruit Basket
For a sweet treat, fill a basket or bowl with whole or cut-up apples, grapes and pears. There's really nothing better than locally grown produce, so swing by a nearby farmer's market and check out their offerings. Biting into a crisp, fresh-off-the-tree apple is a little slice of heaven!

2010 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Celebrity nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin is the author of "Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy" and the costar of TLC's "Freaky Eaters" reality series. Visit her at www.jjvirgin.comto grab her free audio, "7 Steps to Break Your 'Freaky' Food Habits Fast & Forever!"

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