Many fairgoers visit for the animals, music, artwork, project displays, games and rides. A majority, however, come for the food. The fair is a land of deep-fried food (even food that isn’t traditionally deep-fried). Most people believe it’s impossible to be health-conscious when attending the fair. While it maybe difficult, there are a few ways to indulge at the fair without breaking your bathroom scale.
Riverview Health dietitian Bailey Personette, RD, offers these tips for healthy choices when attending the fair.
1. Don’t go to the fair hungry. If you show up already hungry, you may be more likely to overeat.
2. Be sure to stay hydrated with water. With the heat in the summer, it’s especially important to hydrate with water versus soda or juice. Our body is made up of almost 70 percent water, so when it comes to thirst, it wants nothing but water to rehydrate.
3. Enjoy your favorite fair foods but choose a smaller size. We often eat what is in front of us—despite whether we’re hungry or full. By choosing a smaller size to begin with, you will leave feeling satisfied instead of overly full from eating the larger portion. If there isn’t a smaller size, try to share a portion with a friend or don’t be afraid to leave some food on the plate.
4. Scope out your options. There are many food trucks and booths offering your favorite delicious treats. Tune into what sounds good to you in that moment and only have one, rather than ordering food from multiple places and overeating. If you still want to sample several things, split the portions—and costs—with friends to save money and calories.
While scoping out food options, it’s just as important to keep in mind food safety concerns as well as health concerns. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention suggests considering these things when deciding to purchase from a vendor:
* Does the vendor have a clean/tidy workstation?
* Does the vendor have a sink for employees to wash their hands?
* Do the employees wear gloves or use tongs when handling food?
* Does the vendor have refrigeration on-site for raw ingredients or precooked foods?
While it’s important to consider safety and health concerns at fair, it’s also important to enjoy yourself and the attractions at the event. These tips will help you have fun at the event without suffering the consequences of overeating or illness when you get home.