Southern food blogger Cara Greenstein shares her favorite tips for healthier tailgating. 

Caramelized

Ready to tailgate? I experimented with some healthy takes on football fare with the fabulous ladies of Bluff City Lights earlier this month, and thankfully the team absolutely approved! Check out my recipes and entertaining tips for your future fall gathering.

Replace the chips

It's true: roasted sweet potatoes will achieve the same satisfying crunch without any fried food guilt. Load roasted sweet potato slices with a dollop of fresh guacamole or pico de gallo for a healthy yet hearty appetizer.

Control the temp

Keeping hot dishes hot and cold dishes cold is one of the most stressful parts of hosting any gathering. And at a tailgate, when guests are approaching the buffet at their leisure rather than at a requested moment, the likelihood of a piping hot plate is slim-to-none. To solve this problem, I choose dips and spreads that can be served at room temperature without extra oven or refrigerator time.

WATCH:10 Southern Tailgating Foods To Master

Choose complementary over complicated

Plan your menu with complementary flavors, spices, and ingredients. That way, your guests will be able to mix-and-match, make the most of the buffet, and understand your vision. Plus, a thematic palate inspires a thematic decor palette!

Set out small bites

Fork-free menu items speed up clean-up time and help out your fellow tailgaters—who most likely already have beers in hand!

Click here for Cara Greenstein's easy tailgate appetizer recipes

Cara Greenstein is author of the award-winning, Memphis-based food and lifestyle brand Caramelized. A bonafide foodie and entertaining expert, Cara shares a wealth of inspiration for the kitchen and home, as well as guides for outings in Memphis and across the South. Her latest venture, the Caramelized Supper Club, offers a "dinner party in a box" subscription service for convenient and creative at-home entertaining.