To be fair (food)
How do you enjoy the fair without compromising a healthy lifestyle?
There are magical moments in our memory that make us happy. One of the best for me occurred at the state fair. It was a crisp fall day. It was a blue clear sky, and in my mind’s eye it was perfect. My best friend and I had spent the day together – seeing the sights, riding the rides, and being silly high school girls. The last thing we did before the day’s end was to get our roasted corn – the one we would get every year. We ordered at the counter, paid with the last of our tickets, and sat down on a curb together and laughed and talked.
My family and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the state fair. We go every year and get our corn dog and our roasted corn. We see the dog show, and we watch the acrobats. The sights and sounds are the same as they were 20 plus years ago, and I hope to make the same happy memories for my own kids.
How do we enjoy the fair without compromising the healthy lifestyle that we enjoy? Here are some tips from our staff members and from the nutrition department at Cook Children’s.
- Start your day off with a healthy well balanced meal at home. Do not show up hungry!
- Bring waters and healthy snacks with you (nuts and dried fruit travel well). This will also help your ticketbook!
- Allow your child to pick one treat.
- If he or she (or you) can’t decide – pick a few treats to share – 1 or 2 bites of a fried Oreo® is probably enough to satisfy even the worst sweet tooth.
- Pick healthy alternatives to the fried foods: the roasted corn (a must), smoked turkey leg, fruit kabobs, and chicken kabobs.
- The fairgrounds are huge! Walk a lot. Walk off those calories that you consume!
Special occasions like The State Fair of Texas include traditional foods to be enjoyed together. Remember that there are always healthy alternatives, and that the quality family time is the most important part of these magical moments.
Kim Mangham, M.D., is a Cook Children's pediatrician at 1601 Keller Parkway in Keller, Texas. She earned her medical degree at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. She completed the pediatric residency program at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. Her interests include breastfeeding education as well as disease and injury prevention. Dr. Mangham is board certified in pediatrics.