Primary Care in Rochester and Kasson

Smart summer fair food choices

7/1/2021 by Sarah Dramstad, Eric Deangelis, Carly Herr


The warmer weather brings with it many opportunities to get active and enjoy time outside. However, many summer events with their variety of tasty and high-calorie foods present a challenge for people trying to lose weight.

One such challenge is navigating foods at the local fair.

Enjoying time outside at the fair with family and friends shouldn't interfere with your weight-loss goals. Check out the tips below for some ideas on ways to enjoy the fair and make smarter food choices.

Alternative food and beverage choices to enjoy at the fair include:

  • Swap the fried blooming onion for roasted corn on the cob.
  • Substitute a fried turkey leg with a chicken or steak kebab with veggies.
  • Replace sodas, lemonades and limeades with water.
  • Select simple snacks like popcorn or nuts over mashup foods like chili cheese fries.
  • Choose smaller portions of your favorite treats like ice cream.

Other suggestions to help prevent you from overeating at the fair include:

  • Eat a well-rounded, nutritious meal before you go.
  • Stay hydrated with water.
  • Pick one or two snack items that you will most enjoy and stick with those.
  • Try sharing a portion with a family member or friend to prevent overeating.
  • Plan ahead for your next meal so that you know what you'll eat when you leave the fair.
  • Set a budget for food and do not exceed it.

Remember, it's OK to treat yourself to your favorite fair snack, but planning ahead, watching your portions and being mindful with your selections will ensure that you stick to your health and nutrition goals while enjoying the local fair.

Sarah Dramstad, Eric Deangelis and Carly Herr are dietetic interns at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.