Whether you prefer to tailgate during football season or stay within the comfy confines of your living room, fun food makes the game.

But to taper mindless munching, try these healthy dip ideas at your next football party. With a few simple ingredients, you can bring the same old chips and dip to a whole new level.

This simple recipe has an addictive quality that will keep you coming back for more. Because I cannot stop eating this dip, sliced cucumbers and baby carrots keep calories down, giving me the green light to eat freely.

Blend ingredients in a blender or food processor, and serve with your favorite raw vegetables or corn chips.

Nutrition information (per ¼ cup): 70 calories, 2 grams fat, 288 mgs sodium, 186 mgs potassium, 10 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 4 grams protein

Tis the season for pumpkin, and this rich and creamy dip makes a perfect, crowd-pleasing appetizer or dessert. Sliced apples or pears are a light touch that complement the dip and the season.

Blend ingredients in a blender or food processor, and serve with whole-wheat graham crackers, sliced apples. Or use as a spread on whole-wheat toast or homemade zucchini bread.

Nutrition information (per ¼ cup): 98 calories, 5 grams fat, 112 mgs sodium, 76 mgs potassium, 11 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 7 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

When you look at the ingredients and simplicity of this dip, it makes no sense to spend money on a store-bought version. This fresh, simple dip will spice up your next party or make it a staple when grilling chicken.

Nutrition information (per 2 tablespoons): 24 calories, 0 grams fat, 43 mgs sodium, 4 grams carbs, 4 grams sugar, 2 grams protein

If you have guests trying to watch what they eat, they will thank you for this light dip that is both satisfying and a little indulgent. Create a beautiful vegetable tray with three colors of pepper strips, sugar snap peas and long sticks of asparagus for a veggie tray that tastes as good as it looks.

Directions: Mix and serve with your favorite raw vegetables, or use this as a condiment in place of sour cream for a flavorful twist over the normal toppings on chili, tacos or quesadillas.

Nutrition information (per 2 tablespoons): 55 calories, 4 grams fat, 148 mgs sodium, 85 mgs potassium, 3 grams carbs, 2 grams sugar, 2 grams protein

Niki Kubiak is a sports-certified registered dietitian, competitive runner and owner of Niki Kubiak Sports Nutrition and Weight Loss. She blogs regularly for

Drinking a smoothie is a great way to get lots of nutrition in a tasty treat, and in the hot summer months, they tend to sound even more enticing.

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Best Smoothie Blender

Drinking a smoothie is a great way to get lots of nutrition in a tasty treat, and in the hot summer months, they tend to sound even more enticing.

Drinking a smoothie is a great way to get lots of nutrition in a tasty treat, and in the hot summer months, they tend to sound even more enticing.

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