You don’t have to bust your belt to fill your belly.
Boasting nearly 200 food stands and over 80 foods-on-a-stick, it’s very possible to consume more than twice your daily intake of calories at the fair! There’s good news, if you know what to look for and how to prepare, you can avoid busting your belt to fill your belly.
Choose baked or grilled foods
The choice between fried or grilled can make a huge difference and is better for your overall health! A 3-ounce chicken breast is about 120 calories. The same portion, deep-fried, is about 220 calories. Fried foods are also linked to risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Make the better choice this year and opt for baked or grilled foods.
Watch those carbs!
Veggies, fruits, unprocessed whole grains and beans contain fiber that slows the digestive process and helps you feel fuller longer. Try to eat corn, baked potatoes and fruit for some larger volume, lower calorie treats.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Drinking water before a meal can help fill you up so you’re less likely to overeat. We recommend drinking at least two cups of water before you arrive at the fair and continue to hydrate throughout the day!
Know your portion sizes
Instead of eating all of the loaded tots, split the food with someone or use these helpful serving size tips:
1 cup: two palmfuls or the size of a baseball
1/2 cup: one big palmful or the size of a tennis ball
1/3 cup: a handful
1/4 cup: similar to the size of two ping pong balls
3 ounces of meat: about the size of a deck of cards
Do your research!
The Iowa State Fair has a healthy dose of good-for-you foods that are based on the USDA guidelines for healthy meals with school lunches. Know where to find these healthy options and vendors before you head to the fair.
Join us on the Hill
Iowa YMCAs are partnering with the Healthiest State Initiative to bring you Fitness on the Hill all week long. All ages are invited to join in free daily morning exercises from 9:30-10 a.m. on Expo Hill. The YMCA of Greater Des Moines is hosting Zumba on August 14 and Yoga on August 15 & August 18. These activities are a great way to kick off your Iowa State Fair experience!
Start your day with some exercise at Fitness on the Hill and make at least one healthy food choice throughout the day — your body will thank you!
How do you maintain your Healthy Living at the Iowa State Fair?