Tailgating has evolved over the years. Gone are the days of serving sandwiches and beers out of the back of a pickup truck. Sports fans are getting into the spirit and throwing themed parties, complete with décor and more elaborate menus. To help you spend more time having fun and less time preparing, I’ve compiled a list of family-friendly tailgating ideas and tips.

To begin, make a list of everything you will need. Make sure to check out the stadium website for rules and regulations on tailgating and do as much prep beforehand as possible.


  • Team décor and clothes: sweatshirts, hats, necklaces, flags, table cover
  • Napkins, plates and cups
  • Rain ponchos
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Family-fun activities: corn hole, ladder ball, football, face painting supplies and/or temporary tattoos
  • Cooking kit:
    • Spatulas
    • Bottle openers
    • Tongs
    • Can opener
    • Toothpicks, wooden skewers
    • Basting brush
    • Mini flashlight
    • Trash bags
    • Paper towels
    • Plastic zip bags

Menu Ideas

If the weather is a bit chilly, consider going the chili route.

  • True Goodness Turkey Chili. Get the recipe here.
  • True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Tortilla Chips
  • Tossed green vegetable salad
  • Brownies decorated in team colors
  • Beverages

If you love to use your portable grill, this menu idea is simple and  customizable for everyone in your group:

  • Build your own burger (use beef, turkey or veggie burgers) on whole grain buns
  • Condiments: cheese, tomato slices, onion, pickles, etc.
  • Root vegetable chips
  • Fresh veggie tray (Meijer Deli)
  • Frosted football cookies (recipe below)

Too busy? Call Meijer and let them do the prep for you. Get more information here.

  • Meijer pretzel sliders
  • Meijer condiment tray
  • Meijer cheese pleaser tray
  • Fresh fruit tray
  • Cupcakes in team colors
  • Beverages

Frosted Football Cookies Recipe

Makes 30 cookies


  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker™ peanut butter cookie mix
  • Oil, water and egg called for on cookie pouch mix
  • ¼ cup True Goodness™ by Meijer™ creamy peanut butter
  • 1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting
  • 1 tube Betty Crocker™ white decorating cookie icing


  1. Make cookie dough as directed on package. Shape dough into 1 1/2–inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets; press each ball into ovals, 1/4–inch thick.
  2. Bake at 375°F 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Place cookies on cooling racks. Cool completely.
  3. In small bowl, stir chocolate frosting and peanut butter until blended. Spread frosting over cookies; pipe laces with white frosting.

Nutrition information per cookie:  160 Calories, 8g Fat, 21g Carbohydrate, 0g Fiber, 2g Protein, 135mg Sodium


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