Have A Healthy Time at the Fair
Attending your local, county or state fair is meant to be pure fun, but be warned of a few health pitfalls as you make your way through the midway – both from food and from the hot, sunny weather. The more you prepare for these things in advance the better your chances of having nothing but good times to remember.
Remember these tips:
Food & Drink:
• Don’t arrive hungry. Have a healthy snack like low-fat cheese and crackers or some fruit before leaving the house.
• Beware of fried foods, whether it is one of those yearly concoctions of unexpected foods battered then deep fried, or the more expected fare of French Fries, fried chicken and more – the best advice is to stay away. Have a look at CalorieKing’s Mini-Calorie Counter for Fair Foods to remind yourself of the huge impact these foods can have on your daily intake.
• Look out for larger portion sizes. Everyone has seen the offerings at fairs – things like whole turkey legs or banana splits. For those of us who are following the CalorieKing mantra of watching our portion control it should be clear these items raise some red flags to cut back, share or take extras home.
• Make sure you aren’t just thirsty before loading up on treats – properly hydrate yourself then consider buying.
• Order the smallest portions and ask for extras on the side. These include things like butter, cheese, gravy, whipped cream or ice cream.
• Share portions with your friends and family to limit your intake.
• Bring a doggie bag with you to cut your item in half – divide your item before you even start eating and take the rest home with you.
• Look for the healthier choices – grilled vegetables, corn on the cob, salads, nuts, bottled water etc.
• Be aware of too much salt – many vendors will add the salt to fries or other savory foods right before serving. Ask them to hold the salt and you can add it yourself at your table.
• Beware of the upsell – especially common in those sugary drinks or items with multiple sizes. If a vendor tells you that you can super-size for a few cents more remember all the calories that will come with it!
• Stay hydrated! Make sure you are drinking enough water as you move throughout the day. It’s hot out there and you’ll need the extra water. Remember that salty and fried foods, and alcoholic beverages can often leave you even thirstier.
• Wear sensible shoes. Sure, those sandals will look gorgeous on you but will they keep your feet comfortable and clean for a full day at the fair? Consider how far you will be walking – it may be good for your waistline but your feet can get tired unless you are wearing good walking shoes.
• Cover up and wear sunscreen. Wear a hat, sunglasses and bring a light cover up. That sun is powerful and can lead to dangerous burns in no time. Regardless of your clothing, bring a high, sweat proof SPF and apply regularly on your body including your face, hands and even the top of your feet if necessary. Don’t forget your eyelids if you aren’t wearing sunscreen, and use an SPF lip balm for your lips. Everything is vulnerable in the sun!
• Take breaks often. Often we don’t realize how big the fairgrounds can be and after just a few exhibits we can be exhausted – especially if we are a bit out of shape. Sit down and take a break often – drink your water; it will give your group a chance to decide what you want to see next!
With these tips in mind, it’s time to get excited about your outing. Having a leisurely walk around the fairgrounds is a great way to get some exercise, de-stress and see the sights.
Some of those sights are likely to be the outrageous food items carnival operators create every year to try a amaze us – they’re fun to look at even though we know eating these treats would cost us a good portion of our daily intake.
If you spot some crazy new fair food on your way around the midway, drop us a line and tell us about it. We’d love to hear from you!