I’m from Iowa, which is known for having an awesome fair. A huge attraction at the fair is the butter cow and all of the fried food. We have the traditional fried Oreos, Twinkies, Funnel Cakes, but recently we added fried butter (Talk about a healthy choice!). When I go there I want to have fun and enjoy the food, but I don’t want to spend hours and hours at the gym trying to burn it off later.
To help eat less calories, I have done the research on some of the healthier food options at the fair. Try out one these 10 foods to save on calories when you visit yourself:
*Note: All calorie counts are rounded figures from My Fitness Pal. You will need to input your exact food for accurate nutrition facts.
1. Hot Dog- No Bun: 150 Calories
There are days when I crave a Nathan’s Famous hot dog. There’s just something nostalgic about the food. If you’re at the fair this year, this is also a low calorie option! Even if you get the bun, it’s only 260 calories.
If you would prefer the hot dog’s fried cousin, corn dog, I would say that’s a delicious choice (The only place that makes the breading that perfect is the fair). A corn dog is 460 calories, so still not a bad choice. But stick to the regular sizing. The calorie count isn’t for the footlongs.
2. Kabobs: 390 Calories
It’s fun to watch the vendor grill kebobs on the huge outdoor grill (Grilled anything is one of my favorite smells). This choice comes in a variety of different meat and veggie options, which makes it a fantastic source of protein. Also, they’re easy to walk with while you eat.
3. Porkchop on a Stick: 345 Calories
It seems that the overarching fair theme every year is food on a stick. We just added the porkchop in the last couple of years, and it’s perfect if you’re in need of protein (It has 37 grams). Might be hard to eat with BBQ sauce, so I’d lay it down on a plate and cut it to eat.
4. Chicken Gyro: 440 Calories
My favorite street vendor is the one selling gyros. They’re fantastic! And the chicken gyro isn’t too high in calories. So if you want a sandwich option of sorts, this would be a good go-to.
5. Kettle Corn: 130 Calories
The kettle corn vendor always looks like he’s stuck in the 1800s, which makes the snack more authentic. The bags they sell though are giant (Might want to share so you are tempted to eat it yourself). But this option is a great way to treat your sweet tooth without going overboard on calories.
6. Corn on the Cob: 80 Calories
My boyfriend and I debate on the proper way to eat corn on the cob. He’s a type writer and I’m a slow tortoise (meaning I take it one bite at a time). If you don’t like to get the corn stuck in your teeth, you can always shave it off. It still tastes delectable no matter how you eat it and it’s a low caloric choice.
7. Fruit Cups: 60 Calories
I’ve only met one person in my whole life that didn’t like fruit (I’m still not sure I believe him). It’s nature’s dessert and really refreshing on a hot day. The fruit cup is also very portable when you’re wanting to walk around.
8. Side Salad: 150 Calories
If you can’t resist a quarter-pounder at the cattleman’s booth, you can still opt for a side salad over the fries. It’s an option to get some veggies in and if you eat it first, it can help fill you up so you don’t eat as much. Be careful with some of the larger salads, as they can have the same (if not more!) calories than some sandwiches.
9. Ice Cream: 135 Calories/Scoop
The one stop I have to make at the fair is the Dairy Barn for fresh made ice cream. Mostly because ice cream is my favorite food, and it’s even better when it’s homemade. If you get a single scoop in a dish, it’s not a bad option when you want something sweet.
10. Apple Slices with Caramel: 100 Calories
This one is a good option for little kids, too. It’s easy to dip and the fiber from the apples fills you up. It would be fun to sit around and eat while listening to some of the live music acts.
The best thing to do at the fair is to drink plenty of water, so you aren’t craving every food you walk by or drinking too much alcohol/sugary drinks. If you really must have the fried Oreos or Cheeseballs, then I suggest sharing a small order with a friend. Everything in moderation can be fine. Only when you overdo it, will it become a problem.
And if you’re still feeling bloated the next day, then you can try out my Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink.