As we enter the final weeks of summer, there are plenty of fun activities still going on in our area. Many of these activities involve food. There’s no better example of this than fairs. Who hasn’t been to a fair and walked through all the various food trucks offering fried goods, from onion rings to French fries. There are also sweet treats like cotton candy and ice cream.
While it’s tempting to go from fair to fair trying everything offered, Gifford Registered Dietitian, Anne Hutchinson has some tips to keep in mind as you navigate your way through fair season:
Walk around the fair and see what’s available first. Once you get a scope of what’s being offered, then you can decide on a couple of items that you really want to enjoy. You may not have eaten that steak and cheese sub as soon as you got there if you knew there were going to be tacos or chicken sticks.
Split food amongst the people that came with you. It’s the best way to sample various foods without overdoing it.
Eat something before you go. Have a healthy snack before heading out to the fair. It will curb your appetite and make you less tempted to eat larger portions. You could also bring a healthy snack with you to the fair to make sure you’re still getting some nutritional value.
Stay hydrated. Many of the drink options are high in sugars, combine that with high temperatures and it could spell trouble. Bring your own water to drink while you’re there. Water will also keep you feeling full and less likely to have high-calorie beverages and food.
Don’t drink your calories. Lemonades, slushies and milkshakes are all tasty options, but if you plan on enjoying fair food and are trying to stay healthy as much as possible, you may want to back off a bit from the drinks. Consider unsweetened ice tea, water or coffee.
Go early. Our appetites tend to be lower in the morning, so if you go to the fair in the morning, you may be less likely to be tempted. Also, eating in the morning will give you the rest of the day to work off some of those calories either by walking or participating in athletic activities.
Sit while you eat. You may tend to wander around the fair while you’re snacking. It’s best to have a seat and enjoy rather than multi-task. This way you’ll be more aware of how full you are and won’t be tempted by other goodies.
Make substitutions. Instead of getting your meat fried, see if there are grilled or roasted options. Instead of that fried onion blossom, look for lighter veggie options like roasted corn on the cob. Also, use pickles and salsa to add flavor to your food instead of condiments high in sugar like ketchup and mayonnaise.
Just like the Healthier Together Blog where we offered healthy eating tips during the holiday season, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s more important to have fun and spend time with friends and family.
Anne Hutchinson shared some of these tips on WCAX-TV. Click here to watch.
Anne also recently received her certification to treat gluten-related disorders. She talked about that and more during this month’s Gifford Provider Podcast which you can watch below: