Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tips for Eating Healthy at the Fair

Upcoming fairs and community festivals highlight heritage, food, music, and agriculture. The look and smell of food at these festivals makes it hard not to overindulge. Here are some smart choices without packing on extra calories.
Don’t go to the fair hungry. Have a healthy snack before you leave the house so you won’t feel starved and tempted by the smell of the cooking food.

  • Make a plan. Take the time to walk around to investigate the different food items available before making a selection
  • Aim for healthier choices. Avoid fried foods. Look for food items that are grilled. Remember that the food is made in front of you, so you can ask the vendor to limit the sugar, salt, or fat added during preparation.
  • Try some ethnic/vegetarian foods. Many ethic dishes are made without meat and are often grilled rather than fried. 
  • Think of the 5 food groups. Plain meats, vegetables, or fruit are usually a better choice if they are not fried or swimming in butter or sauce.
  • Watch out for the desserts/sweets. They can add a lot of calories.

There are ways to have fun and eat at the fair or festival without making a big impact on your diet:

  • Share with friends. Buy a regular sized portion of your favorite food and split it among a few people. Everyone gets a small portion without overindulging.
  • Sit down to eat. When you walk and eat, you are often distracted by conversation, other foods, or items on display. So you tend to eat more than you realize.
  • Watch your drinks. It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re outside on a hot day. Water is the best thirst quencher.
  • Take time out to look at non-food vendors, arts and crafts and other activities. Walking around the fair will burn calories and help to make up for not eating the best.
  • Remember that you do not have to give up your favorite fair foods. The key is to prevent yourself from over-indulging. Limit yourself to one or two of your favorite foods to satisfy your craving without ruining your health.

For more tips on eating healthy if you have diabetes, consider attending Diabetic Group Classes at Wayne HealthCare. The next series of four classes will be offered on August 8, 10, 15, and 17, 2011 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the conference room at Wayne HealthCare. The low price of $10.00 per class includes handouts and interactive education. Registration is required to attend the classes. Please call 937-547-5750 to register or if you have questions.

The classes help individuals understand the following: 1) diabetes disease process and treatment process, 2) the relationship between diabetes and healthy eating, 3) the value of monitoring your blood sugar and using the results, 4) incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle, 5) how diabetic medications work, 6) ways to reduce your risk of complications, 7) developing strategies for living with diabetes, and 8) developing strategies to promote health/change behavior.


  1. Isn't this a lot like a post on how to go swimming without getting wet?

  2. No, it's more like "how to go swimming and not drown." Some great tips here, even if some are more common sense type things.

    My wife and I typically split everything, so we can try a wider variety of food.

  3. I got a way for people to eat healthy at the fair. Charge them by weight to get in. Yeah when they get embarassed in front of others going in maybe they'll watch what they eat. Hey do me a favor and if you go to the fair count how many over weight people you see.

  4. Studies have shown that drinking a Rotary lemon shake can make you lose weight. Effects may vary, lol.

  5. Even better, go to Wal Mart at the first of the month, man, those food stamp people sure aren't in the risk category for starvation.

  6. Going to the fair to eat a bunch of junk is one of my favorite things about going!

  7. eat, eat, eat!! Lets all get fat together!!

  8. Yes! remember the five food groups: 1. fiske, 2. pizza, 3. sugar, 4. grease, and 5. lemonade.

  9. One week of fair food isn't going to make you fat. It's a treat. I confess to eating all the bad stuff...flying burrito, fried pickes, fried green tomatoes, cotton candy, everything. That's half the fun! And I assure you, I'm not overweight.

  10. The Hawaiian Delight trailer is the best food at the fair. Great food and it isn't nearly as bad for you as the other junk there.

  11. Yes, I know Fair food is bad for me. But once a year there are certain "treats" that I want to enjoy without the food police looking over my shoulder!

    Most of the time I try to eat right for my health (I am not overweight) Just use your common sense.

  12. If your trying to tell me I can't eat a Bowmans pork tenderloin I will never go to the fair again!

  13. Geez. I mean, I get what this article is saying. But, I go to the fair once (maybe twic) each year and one of the reasons I go is to eat food that I don't normally eat at all the rest of the year!

    Gimme a break.

  14. God forbid someone tries to write a positive post on how to enjoy life without destroying yourself.

    thanks, Wayne Health Care. At least someone is showing initiative on how to life a relatively healthy lifestyle, even during Fair Week.

  15. From the perspective of a chef and someone who fully embraces the movement towards BETTER food, this is the one time of the year when a little indulgence is just plain good for the soul!

    Just like Mardi Gras is a preparation and last ditch effort of enjoyment before lent, so shall it be with the annual grub feast that is THE GREAT DARKE COUNTY FAIR!!

    I say EAT UP!

  16. 11:03.... you don't get the comments people are writing at all. Yes, eating healthy should be a no brainer. But why bring up a topic like this? People go to the fair to eat the "fair food" as an indulgence. Most people (amd I said most) people do not eat like that everyday.

    While the intention of Wayne on this subject is great - it's just kinda silly to tell people to "enjoy the fair less".

  17. What is even funnier, is the fact that the person who submitted this will most likely go enjoy fair food themselves... lol

  18. Ha ha ha ha, Just Saying. You are so right. Probably the first person in line at Fiske, then head right across the way to get a fried twinkie and wash it down with a jumbo iced tea!

  19. This sounds like it was written by a diabetes educator at the hospital, with the diabetic audience being the primary target. People with diabetes need to always be careful what they eat, even during the fair.

    I'm sure some people found this information helpful. If it doesn't apply to you there's no need to knock it. I appreciate that Wayne takes the responsibility to provide pretentative care education to the community.

    As for me, I'll see you in line at the food vendors.


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