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Nutrition Tips- Eating Healthy At The Fair

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 by Maggie LaBarbera

I took my 4 year old to the San Mateo County fair last week. We had a lot of fun looking at all the different animals (yeah, we are cityfolks) and learning their different names. We even watched a pig race where she was selected to be one of the cheerleaders. And of course, there are the rides and she is big enough to know exactly which ones she wants to go on.

But, then she was hungry and the first thing she asked for as we walked through the food section was, "Corn dog". I must admit I was surprised she even knew what that was but there it was in bright booth with flashing lights at the top. I told her, "lets do our happy walk and look at all the different foods before we decide". So, she agreed to that 'cause she loves doing our happy walk (we both skip while we hold hands).

Hmm, what to pick. Corn dogs, cheese curds, gyros, nacho chips smothered in processed cheese.... Hmm, this is not going to be so easy. Oh, but then I saw the barbecue booth with corn-on-the-cob. Okay that looks pretty good at about 250 calories with some of the fixins versus 700 calorie corn dog.

I also found the barbecue chicken (pieces of skinless chicken) on a stick. And then sharing is a great way to get the little ones to eat a more reasonable portion size and try new things. So we got a chicken on a stick and one corn on the cob.

But later there was the sweet tooth attack. How can you avoid that with all the sweet smells floating in the air. Okay, cotton candy or funnel cake? Well cotton candy is about 150 calories while the funnel cake is about 800 calories.

Yup, we got some cotton candy, shared half of it and then threw the rest away. We don't have to finish our plate, it's okay to put the rest away!!

More walking and more great memories.

According to Iowa Heart Center: Here are the top 10 healthy Fair Foods!

1. Forego the cave-man-size turkey leg for a turkey tenderloin they're both tasty but at 1,400 calories and 55 to 60 grams of fat, that turkey leg could stay with you for years. At just 350 calories and 30 grams of fat, the turkey tenderloin is the heart-healthy alternative.

2. Go with the Pork-Chop-on-a-Stick instead of sausages or brats. Although it sounds decadent, Iowa's famously flavorful "Pork Chop on a Stick" wins by a mile when it comes to nutrition and calories versus a large Italian sausage. While the meaty pork chop has about 500 calories and around 10 grams of fat, the Italian sausage will pack on 1,200 calories and between 55 and 60 grams of fat.

3. Sweet tooth nagging you? Have a big, sticky cotton candy rather than a funnel cake. Cotton Candy weighs in at about 150 calories against the funnel cake's whopping 800 calories.

4. Stagger your beers with water, rather than downing beer after beer at 250 calories for a large regular beer, try following each beer with an ice-cold bottle of water. The water will also keep you hydrated and help you avoid the bad effects of too much alcohol in the heat.

5. Kettle corn over nachos with cheese. Just one helping of nachos with cheese will add 900 calories and 35 fat grams. Sure, Kettle Corn has some fat, sugar and salt, but it's far fewer calories than a much smaller volume of nachos.

6. Dippin Dots over a Wonder Bar Dippin Dots calorie and fat count: 170 and 10 grams in a half-cup serving.

7. Feel like something on a stick? Try roasted corn-on-the-cob rather than a corn dog. At just 250 calories and zero grams of fat (not counting butter), you'll fend off the corn dog's 700 calories and 35 to 40 grams of fat.

8. Banana-on-a-Stick or watermelon rather than a deep-fried candy bar: How many calories in a deep-fried candy bar? Really, you don't want to know. OK, we warned you: the deep fried candy bar will set you back 800 calories and 40 grams of fat.

9. Pork loin sandwich over a fried pork tenderloin. For filling, high-quality protein, the lean pork loin sandwich beats the fried tenderloin hands down.

10. Carmel apple rather than a bloomin onion or fried cheese curds. Yes, there's carmel on the outside, but there's an apple on the inside. At about 500 calories each and nearly 40 fat grams, the carmel apple is a sweet-and-sour treat on the healthier side.





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