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Take me out to the ballgame!

Summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a ballgame, street fair or amusement park. The experience is not complete without some food. Are there better options so you don’t end up like a beached whale by Labor Day?

The obvious and maybe a little less fun tips:
*Don’t go starving, have something before you leave
*Bring healthy snacks such as fruit, cut up veggies, raw nuts…

Now getting a little more fun:
*Share the food with someone since the portions are usually super sized
*Try not to eat mindlessly, maybe eat during intermissions, while sitting down not
walking around or in line
*Try to stop before you are stuffed

Now, let’s look at some options and you decide what choice you want to make. 

Cracker Jack vs. Cotton candy vs. Funnel Cake

Cotton candy is just sugar that’s been heated, colored and spun into threads with added air. Cotton candy on a stick (about one ounce) has 105 calories, but when bagged (two ounces) it has double that number: 210. Cracker Jacks are basically candy-coated popcorn with some peanuts scattered throughout. A stadium-size box has 3.5 ounces and 420 calories, so the cotton candy is clearly a better deal. But if this is your meal, Cracker Jack’s do have 7g of protein and 3.5g of fiber. One funnel cake is about 760 calories.

Hamburger vs. Chicken Sandwich vs Giant Turkey Leg
A six-ounce hamburger with a bun has about 500 calories before any toppings. A six-ounce grilled chicken sandwich has only 280 calories. Pile on the lettuce, tomato, pickles and mustard for virtually no extra calories. Don’t be fooled by the protein on a bone. A giant turkey leg is about 1,135 calories!

Hot dog vs. Pizza vs. Sausage and Peppers
A regular hot dog with mustard is about 290 calories: 180 for the two-ounce dog, 110 for the bun, and only 5 calories for mustard. Sauerkraut adds another 5-10 calories, and ketchup adds 30 calories. Be aware that foot long hot dogs are about double the calories. Pizza is about 435 calories per slice. A five-ounce sausage-and-pepper sandwich is about 430 calories.

Super nachos with cheese vs. Fries vs. Corn
A 12-ounce serving of nachos with cheese (40 chips, four ounces of cheese) has more than 1,500 calories! A six-ounce serving of French fries is about 500 calories. Corn on the cob is about 100 calories and if you add butter it is closer to 120 calories.

Peanuts in the shell vs. Popcorn vs. Soft pretzel
An eight-ounce bag of peanuts has 840 calories, and a 12-ounce bag has 1,260. Popcorn may be about 120 ounces, which has roughly 1,500 calories. A plain, soft pretzel (5.5 ounces) at about 400 calories, while the huge pretzels (seven to eight ounces), have closer to 700 calories.

Snow cone vs. Draft beer vs. Soda
Snow cones use one to two ounces of flavored syrup (at almost 60 calories an ounce) so they will range from 60-120 calories. Beer at a stadium comes in 20-ounce cups, which means about 240 calories. Get a light draft if you can, and you’ll save 60 calories for a 20-ounce serving. Soda is definitely not a bargain at about 230 calories for 20 ounces.

More recently, as stadiums are being renovated and society is more health conscious, they are offering healthy options such as sushi, edamame, fruit (watermelon at street fairs), yogurt, kabobs and more! Just be a mindful consumer and enjoy!

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Sharon Richter, RD
200 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212.977.7779

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