Can We Eat Healthfully at the Fair? Yes, Yes We Can

Posted by: Ellen Schuster, BA, MS on Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Can We Eat Healthfully at the Fair? Yes, Yes We Can

Article originally appears in the August 2, 2018 issue of the SNEB eCommunicator

It’s that time of year when many states hold their state (or county) fair. Deep-fried foods often make the headlines yet there are enticing and healthful food choices. It’s not all about just telling people to avoid high calorie/fat/sugar foods at the fair. I was pleased to read other strategies suggested similar to attending a party or buffet (look at everything and choose a few items), eat slowly and mindfully and to cut portions, share! 

>>>The 8 healthiest nutrition-approved foods you’ll find at the fair this summer
This list includes corn on the cob, dipped fruit and kebabs. Although some suggestions aren’t the healthiest, they are better choices than others.
https://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/healthiest-fair-food/

>>>5 foods you should avoid (and the 5 you should order) at the Fair
A different kind of list, it describes the categories of foods to avoid such as sugar bombs, food in bulk and some recommendations.
https://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/smart-choices/how-to-eat-healthy-at-the-fair

>>>State fair: Is there anything not deep-fried here?
A gallery of pics includes corn-on-the-cob, watermelon and popcorn.
https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition-pictures/is-there-anything-not-deep-fried-here.aspx#01

>>>Mission impossible or possible: Can you eat healthy at the state fair? (2 pp PDF)
Provides helpful tips such as bring water, walk (includes how many steps it takes to walk off some food items), share food and more!
https://www.skiffmed.com/media/cms/256_Lightside_AC234136812EE.pdf

>>>Tips for a healthy(ier) day at the Minnesota State Fair (2017)
Provides some ideas as to what is healthy for fair goers.
http://www.sagehealthstyle.com/blog/whole-real-foods/2017/8/15/tips-to-for-a-healthyier-day-at-the-mn-state-fair

>>>2018 healthy Iowa State Fair choices
Includes entrees with less than 600 calories and side dishes with less than 300 calories such as fruit (and meat or poultry) on a stick, tacos and more!
https://www.iowastatefair.org/food/healthy-choices/

>>>County fair food: how to make healthy food choices
Helpful tips include going early in the morning so you’re less likely to be enticed by food aromas and looking over ALL the choices first, then choosing 3 items.
http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/county_fair_food_how_to_make_healthy_food_choices

>>>5 tips on eating healthy at your local fair
Includes many tips mentioned above but also reminds us to eat mindfully!
https://www.wakehealth.edu/Health-Central/NMR/Primary-Care/Fair-Food-Tips.htm

>>>It’s not a race: 4 tips for mindful eating at the fair
All about mindful eating at the Minnesota State Fair
https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/08/24/4-tips-mindful-eating-state-fair

>>>How to navigate the food at the State Fair, even if you have diabetes
https://www.healthpartners.com/hp/healthy-living/healthy-living-blog/state-fair-food.html includes a 2 page PDF w/detailed nutrition info for fair foods @ https://www.healthpartners.com/ucm/groups/public/@hp/@public/documents/documents/entry_192592.pdf 

Infographics
>>>State fair food challenge: How many steps to walk that off?
http://www.allinahealth.org/HealthySetGo/Article.aspx

>>>8 ways to stay fit at the fair
https://healthtalk.unchealthcare.org/staying-fit-at-the-state-fair/

>>>How does fair food fare?
https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2015/09/091615_infographic-unhealthy-fair-food.php

Podcasts
Healthful Foods at State and County  Fairs from Eating Right on WBBM Newsradio (1 min) @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/healthful-foods-at-state-and-county-fairs/id400254945?i=1000416107691&mt=2

YouTube
There are many video choices on this platform, here are two.
>>>A guide to healthier eating at the Mississippi State Fair (7:39)
An on-site tour of fair foods with better choices included.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqR8WEitueg

>>>Fair food choices (2:30)
Food pairs - which is the better choice at the Indiana State Fair?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kolia8Fab88