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Friends watching a sporting event

Healthy Game Day Recipes to Tackle Stomach Woes

From your eating habits to your clothing choices, here are the most common culprits.

Game day food is a crowd favorite, but it can be tough on your digestive system, especially if you’re prone to indigestion. However, you don’t have to go hungry while cheering on your team. Instead, consider bringing some of these healthy game day recipes to the party. They’re just as tasty as your usual game day fare but less likely to leave you with acid reflux symptoms later. While these recipes are a healthier alternative to the typical fried foods found at tailgates, they don’t skimp on the flavor.

The Best Foods for Indigestion

Your diet can significantly affect your indigestion. While eating triggering foods can make your indigestion worse, eating a well-balanced diet is a great way to soothe and prevent acid reflux.1 Here are some ingredients to look out for when choosing healthy game day recipes: 

High-Fiber Foods

Fibrous foods can help you feel fuller longer, making you less likely to overeat and develop indigestion. Here are some of the best fiber-rich foods to add to your plate2:

  • Green vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli and green beans
  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and couscous
  • Root vegetables such as carrots, beets and sweet potatoes

Alkaline Foods

All foods have a pH level that indicates their acidity. The more acidic a food, the more likely it is to cause indigestion. Conversely, high pH foods, also known as alkaline foods, can counteract the low pH of your stomach acid. Some of those foods include:2

  • Fennel seeds
  • Nuts
  • Bananas
  • Cauliflower
  • Melons

Watery Foods

Watery foods are exactly what they sound like—foods with a high water content. Water can help soothe indigestion by diluting and weakening your stomach acid. Watery foods include:2

  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Herbal tea
  • Lettuce
  • Watermelon
  • Clear soups

Low-Fat Milk and Yogurt

Thanks to its ability to act as a temporary buffer between the lining of your stomach and your stomach acid, milk is widely considered a home remedy for heartburn symptoms. However, not all milk is beneficial for acid reflux. Some people report that the fat content in milk makes their indigestion worse, so opt for non-fat milk to reap all the benefits of this beverage. Non-fat yogurt also contains the same soothing properties, along with beneficial bacteria for gut health.2

Game Day Recipes

Here are a few game day recipes that incorporate indigestion-friendly ingredients:

Baked Chicken Tenders

A plate with breaded, baked chicken tenders and a cup of barbecue sauce


  • Chicken breast strips (1.5 lbs)
  • Whole wheat breadcrumbs (1 cup)
  • Egg whites (from 2-3 eggs)
  • Paprika, garlic powder, onion powder (1 teaspoon each for seasoning)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Dip chicken strips in egg whites, then coat with a mixture of whole wheat breadcrumbs and seasonings.
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and fully cooked.

Turkey and Veggie Sliders

Three turkey sliders topped with roasted vegetables and herbs on a plate


  • Ground turkey (1 lb)
  • Finely chopped vegetables (1/2 cup each of bell peppers, celery, zucchini)
  • Whole grain slider buns (8 buns)
  • Lettuce, tomato (for topping)


  • Mix ground turkey with finely chopped veggies, form into small slider-sized patties.
  • Grill or bake until fully cooked.
  • Serve on whole grain slider buns with lettuce and tomato.

Quinoa Salad

A bowl that has a fresh quinoa salad with tomatoes, corn and zucchini


  • Cooked quinoa (2 cups)
  • Diced cucumbers, celery, bell peppers (1/2 cup each)
  • Chopped fresh parsley (1/4 cup)
  • Lemon vinaigrette (2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper)


  • Mix cooked quinoa with diced vegetables and chopped parsley.
  • Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette, toss to combine. 
  • Serve chilled.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

A platter of baked sweet potato fries with a side cup of ketchup


  • Sweet potatoes, cut into fries (2 large sweet potatoes)
  • Olive oil (2-3 tablespoons)
  • Paprika, garlic powder, sea salt (1/2 teaspoon each for seasoning)


  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Toss sweet potato fries in olive oil and seasonings.
  • Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until crispy.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Three grilled vegetable skewers with tomatoes, squash, zucchini, garlic, and more on a barbecue grill


  • Assorted vegetables (2 bell peppers, 2 zucchinis, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 8 oz. mushrooms)
  • Olive oil (2-3 tablespoons)
  • Herbs like rosemary or thyme (1-2 teaspoons)


  • Thread chopped vegetables onto skewers.
  • Brush with olive oil and herbs, then grill until tender and slightly charred.

Greek Yogurt Dip

A bowl of Greek yogurt with dill, sliced lemons, cucumber, and purple garlic


  • Greek yogurt (1 cup)
  • Chopped fresh dill (2 tablespoons)
  • Minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
  • Lemon juice (1-2 tablespoons)


  • Mix all ingredients together for a refreshing dip to accompany the chicken tenders or veggie skewers.

Foods to Avoid for Indigestion

While everyone’s indigestion is different, some dishes are notorious for causing acid reflux. Foods that are high in fat, spice or salt are common indigestion triggers, including:2 

  • Fried food
  • Potato chips 
  • Processed snacks 
  • Chili powder and pepper 
  • Processed meats such as bacon and sausage
  • Cheese 
  • Pizza 
  • Fast food

Other potentially triggering foods include: 

  • Citrus fruits
  • Peppermint
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Chocolate

While fried, fatty and fast foods are usually all you would find at a tailgate party, you can be prepared for the big game thanks to these healthy recipes. If you’re hosting the party, your guests will love these tasty dishes and maybe ask you to host again. If you’re worried about overindulging, take some TUMS with you in case you need quick relief from indigestion.  

Source Citations:

  1. The Best and Worst Foods for Acid Reflux – What to Eat and Avoid. University Hospitals. Accessed 11/7/23.
  2. GERD Diet: Foods That Help with Acid Reflux (Heartburn). Johns Hopkins Medicine. Accessed 11/7/23. 
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