The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Health & Family

September 6, 2012

Entire families can enjoy game day with tailgating or watch parties

JOPLIN, Mo. — School is back in session, which means the fall season is here. And fall means football. But football doesn’t have to be dominated by men-only parties. Families can make football a fun activity everyone can enjoy, said Carrie Wilkinson, president of Angel Guild and a Missouri Southern State University supporter.

Going to the big game can be exhilarating for kids just starting out in youth sports, Wilkinson said. A family needs to set ground rules for its outing to the stadium to help keep things fun and active. A home party allows a family to unleash its creative senses with different football food recipes and projects to try, which can be a bonding activity for family members to enjoy.

Whether having a watch party at home or tailgaiting at the stadium, families need to set some key ground rules, Wilkinson said.


Communication key

Football parties just aren’t football parties without food. But it can get pretty expensive without some help, Wilkinson said. She recommends designating who will bring which items to the party among fellow family members and friends.  

“Plan (your party) by asking everyone to bring a little something, and you’re not stuck footing the whole bill,” Wilkinson said.

Planning for food at tailgate parties is no-brainer, she said. Summer foods such as chips and dip, and soda, are traditional tailgaiting treats.

Wilkinson says grilling at the arena, if allowed, makes for good times and good food. But if grills aren’t allowed, Wilkinson says families can cook food such as burgers or brats ahead of time and bring them along in a cooler.

Coolers and chairs are essential items for tailgaiting, she said, but make sure all the others bases are covered, too.

“You don’t want to get there and have hot dogs, but no buns,” she said.

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