MU Hospital is Focusing on Healthier Tailgating Food

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COLUMBIA -Football season is finally here and MU health officials are looking for different ways to promote healthier tailgating foods.  Dieticians say a healthy diet helps to prevent chronic disease and promote a general overall feeling of wellness.  Clinical Dietician Ashley Ritzo says you can enjoy unhealthy food in moderation, but to be careful.

"You really have to define to yourself what moderation means.  Every once in awhile turns into every weekend when it comes to tailgating season so it's important to keep the moderation idea in mind." 

Ritzo says you are in control of the recipe at home and to take liberties with the ingredients.  "Anytime you have the opportunity to make things a little healthier, whether its tailgating or labor day BBQ's, if you can modify things or make some adjustments to make the things you are eating a little healthier that's actually going to have a longterm impact."

Ritzo and other dieticians paired together with MU cooks to help make food healthier.  A program at MU Hospital, called HealthyU, offers meal options with 500 calories or less.  MU Cook Rocky Galloway suggests using substitutions such as baked chips instead of regular chips and low fat sour cream in place of regular sour cream.

MU Health Care is focusing on reaching out to the community to provide different opportunities for people to learn how to incorporate healthier food into their lives. Ritzo says, "Sometimes there is a disconnect between what you know is healthy and how to figure that out and MU hospital is here to help."