March Madness isn't like the Superbowl or the FIFA World Cup. Sure, the excitement is there, along with the ruthless team loyalties and the hours you spend pouring over your bracket, but March Madness is not just a single day where you get to splurge on your diet. These games go on for weeks, and if you aren't careful, you may find that your muffin top has made an unwanted appearance! But what is basketball without a little indulgence? Luckily, you don't have to give up your finger-lickin' good snacks in order to have a great time this season. We've compiled a list of delectable and satisfying treats that are bound to be favorites amongst your family and friends. So instead of reaching for a couple beers or a bag of potato chips, give these tasty recipes a shot!
1. Baked Mini Corn Dogs: With a taste that seems straight out of a carnival, these delectable corn dogs are perfect for your younger guests! Plus, at less than 180 calories for two corn dogs, your older attendees may want to steal a few as well! Check out our recipe here.
2. Greek Quesadilla: We know that quesadillas are considered to be dangerous territory by those of us who are watching our waistline, but our skinny recipe is an irresistible addition to your family's dinner table during the Madness! It's quick to make, full of nutritious and tasty ingredients, and filling enough to keep you on track! For the recipe, click here.
3. Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels: Combine chicken, spinach, onions, blue cheese and buffalo sauce on high-fiber wraps for a mouthwatering snack everyone will love. At only 78 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving, you’re still getting in 15 grams of protein, so don't worry about empty calories! Click here for our recipe.
>> Read more: 39 Favorite Snacks Under 100 Calories
4. Turkey Meatball Sliders: Sliders are an absolute must at any sports party! However, your average slider can really pack on the pounds with all that excess fat and oil. Our recipe eliminates all those greasy, high-calorie ingredients for a game day snack that is packed with protein and mouthwatering marinara sauce! Click here to be taken to the recipe.
5. Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip: We all know how tempting — and dangerous — spinach and artichoke dip can be, right? It sounds nutritious in theory, but your average dip can be really heavy! Luckily, our recipe does away with those high calorie counts for an appetizer that no one will be able to resist. Check it out.
6. Cauliflower Pizza Bites: If you're leaning towards ordering in a pizza for game night, then it might be time to check out some skinnier options. With tons of protein and cheesy, crunchy flavor, who knew cauliflower could taste so good? Here's the recipe.
7. Mediterranean Herb Hummus: If you need an alternative to those high-calorie cheese dips, then why not give this recipe a whirl? Hummus is absolutely delicious and creamy, and goes perfectly with an assortment of veggies or whole-wheat pita chips for a great game day snack. Check it out here.
8. Skinny Hawaiian Chicken Cups: These are a great way to get big flavor in a small bite! This cute wonton chicken cup appetizer won’t ruin your meal, and will be a hit at your next backyard BBQ. At 133 calories per serving, that adds up to only 66 calories for one prepared cup! Click here for the recipe!
9. Skinny Simple Queso: Cheese lovers, rejoice! This Simple Skinny Queso recipe is the answer to your weight loss prayers! We combine cornstarch, almond milk, tomatoes, cheese and all kinds of yummy ingredients for a warm, delicious and HEALTHY queso recipe. In fact, a quarter-cup of this goodness clocks in at only 53 calories and 3 grams of fat! Click here for the recipe.
10. Skinny Buffalo Chicken Wings: These Skinny Buffalo Chicken Wings will totally transform your view of tailgate food! We eliminate all the butter of the Buffalo sauce and even keep these to 192 calories per serving — that’s 6 pieces of chicken! Check out the recipe here.
11. Baked Crab Rangoon: These Skinny Buffalo Chicken Wings will totally transform your view of tailgate food! We eliminate all the butter of the Buffalo sauce and even keep these to 192 calories per serving — that’s 6 pieces of chicken! Click here to check out our healthy crab rangoon recipe.
12. Cheeseburger Meatball Skewers: This fun appetizer is sure to be a crowd pleaser at your March Madness party. Your family and friends won’t even miss the bun because they’ll be too busy devouring these low-calorie mini burgers. In fact, three of these bad boys have only 144 calories! Here's the recipe.
13. Skinny Buffalo Chicken Bites: These bites taste just like Buffalo chicken dip, but this recipe is chip-free! The bread crumbs create the crunch that the chips would add otherwise. Check them out here!
14. Spicy Sweet Potato Fries: Nothing beats a basket of fries on game day, but this recipe does away with all the nasty components of your average French fries for a snack that is bound to impress. Click here to see the recipe.
15. Greek Yogurt Onion Dip: Can't get enough of the health benefits and flavor of Greek yogurt? This dish is an awesome, mouthwatering substitute for its heavier adversary: the French onion dip. Serve it up with lots of veggies, pretzels or pita chips for a delicious addition to your party. (via Food Network)
16. Skinny Taco Dip: No party would be complete without a taco dip! This recipe is stuffed full of nutritious ingredients like olives, reduced-fat cream cheese and zesty taco heat for a dish that will vanish in next to no time. Click here for the recipe from Skinnytaste.
>> Read more: 50 Finger-Licking Good Mexican Meals
Don't use the next couple weeks as an excuse to let yourself go. You can use this time to teach your family about healthy living instead! Stick to your workouts and a nutritious lifestyle, and you will still have no problem enjoying the thrill of the games without all the mindless eating.