Your partygoers will no doubt be drawn to colorful foods—so be bold about adding vibrant veggies to your dishes. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

If you’ve been to a Super Bowl party, you know pretty much what to expect in terms of snacks.

A gauntlet of pizza and chicken wings, pigs in a blanket, gooey queso dips, potato chips, cheese curls, meatballs smothered in BBQ sauce.

This can be extremely tempting for someone trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. And it’ll often result in a post-party heartburn.

But don’t fret.

There are plenty of ways to keep the junk food at bay while still having a good time at a party, said Elizabeth Suvedi, manager of culinary medicine at Spectrum Health.

Her advice? Think “health forward.”

“If you are hosting, make sure you provide a dish or two that is super delicious but also nutritious and healthy,” she said. “People tend to eat with their eyes, so it can be fun to use bright and colorful vegetables in snacks and dishes.”

Picture fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans.

Incorporate plant-based foods into whatever you are making.

“A seven-layer dip would be an excellent example of something that’s fun but also healthy,” Suvedi said. “Leave off the cheese and sour cream, but try using beans, zesty avocado dip, fresh tomato salsa, black olives and garnish with green onions and chopped radish.”

You use the dip with cut vegetables, whole wheat pita bread or homemade corn tortilla chips.

Another one of Suvedi’s favorites is quinoa lettuce wraps.

“Finger food that you can prepare ahead of time and take to a party and assemble is always fun,” she said. “And don’t sacrifice flavor for the Super Bowl. Everyone wants delicious mouthwatering food—and you can still have that while focusing on whole, plant-based foods.”

Be bold

Suvedi recommends any of the recipes from Spectrum Health Lifestyle Medicine, but there are some crowd favorites you can consider for your super soiree:

You can host a phenomenal super bowl party while still offering healthy options.

“Parties allow you an opportunity to showcase a delicious new treat,” Suvedi said. “Try something nutritious that people would not have made on their own. I always encourage people to bring something new and bring the recipe along to share.”

Know your goals

If you typically find it challenging to avoid junk food on the big day, consider these tips:

  • Eat something healthy before you go. If you show up with a full stomach, you will be less likely to overeat unhealthy foods.
  • Focus on the conversations, not the food. Take time to enjoy the company of your friends and family—and move your conversations away from the food. Congregating around the food table can result in mindless eating.
  • Use a smaller plate. Whatever plate size you grab, tends to be the amount of food you will eat. Start smaller and take your time while eating. Savor the flavors and take smaller bites.
  • Treat unhealthy options as a condiment. Don’t completely deprive yourself of the things you love. If you must try some of the less-healthy options, keep your portions extremely small. Fill your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables and then add dips, along with wheat crackers and nuts.
  • Only eat once. Get one plate of food and pay attention to your portion sizes. Try not to go back and graze throughout the evening. Take time to sit and enjoy your meal, then focus on the game and the fun of hanging out with friends.
  • Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated can help you feel full—and it’s also good for your body. Make it a habit to drink a full glass of water before a meal or before going to a party where there’s snacks and drinks.