A dietitian dishes on your favorite festival fare

The weeks ahead will bring Ferris wheels, live bands and – perhaps everyone’s favorite part of festival season – amazing food. It’s certainly a time to indulge in special, once-a-year treats and, as Sarah Mohrman, RDN, CD, MA, dietitian/coordinator wellness and marketing, Parkview Physicians Group – Cardiology, shares here, it’s entirely manageable with these helpful tricks and a little extra effort.

Split decision

Food at the fair is definitely food to share! Split your treat with a friend or family member. You can still enjoy that elephant ear, but everyone can share the expense of the calories and lower their portion size.

H2O for the win

Choose water to drink rather than a sugary, heavy alternative.  From Lemon Shake Ups to soft drinks to dark beers, the calories in beverages can add up quickly!

At the Fort Wayne Greek Festival

Some Mediterranean diet selections provide a healthier festival dining experience, with vegetables, olive oil and seasonings. Choose the chicken or pork Souvlaki with rice pilaf along with a Greek Salad.  Steer clear of the entrees such as Pastichio or Moussaka that are topped with rich béchamel sauce and cheeses.

At RibFest

Look for their tender BBQ chicken options for a lower fat and calorie alternative.  Enjoy grilled produce such as corn, green beans and vegetable skewers instead of the tempting fried fare.

At Germanfest

We recommend splitting your bratwurst with a friend or opting for the sauerkraut on the side.  A low-sodium lifestyle may be hard to follow at this festival, with a brat and kraut exceeding 1,100mg alone.  Try enjoying a healthy salad before you leave home or sip on a light beer while enjoying your company instead .

Exercise equation

If you still want to indulge, a little extra movement can help offset some of the negative effects of these carnival calorie bombs.

1 mile = 2000 steps = 100 calories burned (roughly)

Wear your activity tracker or pedometer to the festival and use the equation above to calculate how much your favorite treats will “cost you” or if you came out on top. Enjoy the season, everyone!  

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