On a stick!

Published in Weight Management, For the Health of It Author: Ann Marie Burgeson, BSN, RN, MSN, NP-C

Five fair food tips

Planning a trip to the Minnesota State Fair? Worried that you will have the, “I shouldn’t have eaten that,” feeling on the drive home? With all of the cheese curds, deep-fried cookie dough, fried pig ears and hotdish on a stick, making healthy food choices at the fair can be challenging.

Here are five tips to help make your day at the fair healthy, guilt-free and fun all at the same time.

  1. Eat a normal meal/snack before you go. If you are too hungry when you get to the Fair, it will be more difficult to control how much you eat. Resist the temptation to buy a second bag of mini doughnuts by making sure you are well-fed before you leave your house.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Sometimes our bodies crave food when we are actually thirsty. In addition, a walk from the 4-H building to the Midway on a hot day may cause us to need more water. Be sure to stay hydrated to keep up your energy and well-being at the Fair.
  3. Choose one special food item to indulge in for the day. Looking forward to your annual trip to Sweet Martha’s Cookies? Go for it! Since Sweet Martha’s can only be found at the Fair, these cookies are a perfect treat to select as your indulgence for the day. Many other Fair foods, such as corn dogs, can be found in many places all year around. Rather than indulging in several Fair treats, select one item that can only be found at the Fair.
  4. Share your special treat. If you want to try a couple Fair treats, share with a friend. If each person in your group gets a different item, sharing would be a good option since typically all of the portions are large enough to do so. This way you get a sample of special treats without overindulging and overspending.
  5. Discover healthy options at the Fair. Believe it or not, there are many healthy options to choose from at the Fair. Try a Minnesota Grown apple with caramel and nuts or grilled corn on the cob. A slice of thin crust cheese pizza, a stick of bison jerky, a spicy black bean burger or lightly breaded sunfish fillets also are examples of delicious and healthy choices at the Great Minnesota Get Together. Of course, a trip to the all-you-can-drink milk stand is always a good way to stock up on your calcium. According to the vendor, The Midwest Dairy Association, each glass of milk they serve contains 30 percent of your daily calcium!

Have fun at the Minnesota State Fair this year! If you are smart about your food choices and get in plenty of walking, it can be not only a fun day but also a healthy day.