The Healthiest Foods at Your Local Fair

Summer is fast approaching, and with summer comes an activity that many families are excited about: the local fair. It’s the perfect time to spend time with your loved ones going on fun rides, playing (rigged) games, winning fun prizes, and of course, buying overpriced fair foods!

However, it can be hard to stay healthy when you’re at a fair. Nearly everything will either be loaded with sugar, salt, and grease, and you’ll have no choice but to eat them since most state fairs don’t allow outside food to be brought in. Is it possible to stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle while having fun at the fair?

The answer is yes! Thankfully, there are quite a few healthy options at your local fair. They’re neither the healthiest nor the most appealing foods out there, but I highly doubt you went to the fair for their wide selection of healthy food anyway. These are just foods that can tide you over while you have fun.

Be on the lookout for these foods the next time you’re at your local fair.

 

Corn on the Cob

No frills, no fuss—just good, old corn on the cob on a stick.

Corn is a perfectly healthy snack that’s rich in fiber. It’s pretty hefty and can keep you full for a long time, discouraging you from purchasing other snacks at the fair. It also gives you the energy to hop from one attraction to another without feeling tired!

Despite its weight, though, it’s surprisingly low in calories. A normal-sized ear of corn should not be more than 150 calories, though that will undoubtedly change once you add in things like melted butter, cheese, and other toppings. But hey, we’re not looking for the healthiest foods at the fair, just the lesser evils!

 

Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels are a staple in American culture. Characterized by their iconic shape, soft pretzels are a nice treat to nibble on and satiate hunger. They come in a variety of flavors, the most common of which are salted, cinnamon, and almond. Some stores even offer innovative flavors like pepperoni, chocolate, and caramel, though these probably aren’t as healthy as the basic ones.

Plain, salted soft pretzels should not cost you more than 500 calories, especially if you ask for less salt than usual. You can still do a lot worse than a pretzel, though. So, if you’re feeling fancy, go and add whatever pretzel toppings you desire—it’s not every day you get to be at the fair.

 

Popcorn

Ahh, popcorn—what a timeless classic. It’s one of the very few foods that you can experience through all the senses. Seeing those flaky kernels, smelling that delectable aroma of melted butter, feeling the softness of the popcorn as the saltiness melts on your tongue, hearing that pop, pop, pop from the popcorn machine… you just know that a bag of freshly-popped popcorn will hit the right spots!

You just have to make sure the popcorn isn’t too unhealthy, which can be tough if someone is preparing it for you. While you probably can’t tell the popcorn seller to cook with a heart-healthy oil or air-fry the popcorn, what you can do is tell them to lay off the melted butter and excessive salt content. You can also share the popcorn with your loved ones so you don’t overeat.

 

Kebabs

Kebabs aren’t exactly what you think of when you say state fair, but we’re not complaining!

They are typically comprised of protein (usually chicken or beef) and some vegetables (usually green bell peppers and onions). They are also usually freshly grilled and served on a stick. This makes it one of the healthier snacks on this list—because it’s grilled rather than fried, there aren’t any extra calories or fats to weigh you down. There’s also a good balance of protein from the meat and vitamins and minerals from the veggies.

One thing you need to look out for, however, is kebabs with too many scorch marks. When you eat burned meat, you can form carcinogens in the body that can eventually lead to cancer. Take off the burnt bits or just have the kebab redone.

 

Peanuts

They’re definitely the most boring option on the list. Nobody ever goes to the state fair for the roasted peanuts. However, they’re by far the healthiest and often cheapest food item you can get when you’re hungry.

Peanuts might be small, but they’re packed with a lot of healthy stuff. They contain a good amount of nutrients that can strengthen your immune system, improve cognitive function, and give you lots of energy for the day. They’re also full of fiber that not only keeps you full longer but also improves digestion.

You can’t go wrong with a fresh bag of roasted peanuts!

 

Candy Apples

If you want to cheat a little more than usual, then candy apples are the best option for you. As the name suggests, they’re apples with thick coats of either chocolate or caramel and topped with various toppings like sprinkles, marshmallows, and nuts. It’s like eating a bedazzled and bejeweled apple!

Apples are one of the most nutritious fruits around. They’re good for your gut, heart, hormones, immune system, lungs, brain, eyes, and so much more. They’re a pretty good way of balancing things out—instead of eating a ton of pure, unadulterated sugar, you can have some sugar paired with an apple.

An apple is the perfect once-in-a-while treat that won’t make you feel too guilty.

 

Conclusion

Your local fair isn’t the best venue for healthy eating. But, we’re proud of you for sticking to your guns and going for the healthiest options available. But remember, going on a little splurge once in a while isn’t going to kill you. Just go and have some fun!