After doing the food frenzy on Friday, I could barely move. I wanted to see if fair-goers worried about portions and calories and if food vendors could provide them that information.
“They usually ask us about the allergy ingredients. We know what ingredients go in the donuts and we can answer them,” said Maja Zarkova, Westrum’s Quality Foods.
But not everyone has allergy restrictions. Some people might be on a diet but still want to enjoy a little something at the fair. Trying to count calories or judge portion sizes can be difficult…
“On this bag of chips that we serve with the taco bags, it’s only 140 calories. But, the fine print is, that there are three servings in each bag, so it’s actually 410 calories,” said Taco in a Bag owner Jeff Beck.
“And then, of course, we add all kinds of good things like meat, and cheese and lettuce, which is healthy and salsa. So, we’ll be honest with you–as honest as we can be,” Beck added.
The information might not be accurate or some vendors won’t have it, but there are some ways you can try to help avoid eating too much.
“When you’re going to the fair and want to try something, maybe just pick one item. Or even better, if you’re going with a group of people, maybe pick one fried item to share,” said Michelle Fundingsland, clinical dietitian Trinity.
And that seems to be what some people do.
“We had cheese curds and we all kind of share them instead of getting a full one for each of us,” said Krysta Berard, fairgoer.
There are also some healthier options than eating fried food.
“Just a plain old frozen chocolate-dipped frozen banana, or corn on the cob, or kabob or grilled chicken. Some of those simple foods that may still have good flavor there because they’re roasting them or it’s served on a stick and that’s just fun to have,” Fundingsland said.
Evaluating your overall relationship with food can help you determine how the fair will fit into your meal plan.
“One day at the State Fair and if you over-indulge, will not make you have diabetes. Many days at the State Fair and many months and years of eating extra and when your weight goes up and you’re less active, that may push you into having diabetes. It’s not just that one time that will do anything,” Fundingsland said.
Another thing you can try is eating before you get to the fair.