I know most people don’t go to the fair with the word “healthy” in mind. But I also know that a lot of people avoid the amazingness of the state fair because they think their health goals will be thrown out the window the second they get there.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Surprisingly, the state fair is one of my favorite foodie events…I look forward to it all summer long. People gasp when I tell them that, but what they don’t realize is that there are many other food options at the fair other than cheese curds, French fries, and mini donuts. I’m not saying I won’t touch those types of foods while I’m there, but I want to open others’ eyes to the fact that those aren’t their only options.
So, what are the better/healthier/okay foods at the fair?! Here’s my list – leave me with a comment below if you’ve seen others that I didn’t think of!
Produce Exchange: Find fresh fruit (Colorado peaches, yes please!) AND locally-brewed Kombucha here.
Roasted Sweet Corn from the Corn Roast: amazing and healthy-ish, dipped in REAL butter which gets a thumbs up from this dietitian!
Pickle on a Stick: because you can’t go wrong with pickles.
Olives on a Stick: find these at St. Martin’s Olives in the International Bazaar. Thumbs up for healthy fat!
Frozen Grapes from Bayou Bob’s: a desserty-like healthy treat.
Protein Options: There’s no lack of protein at the fair, which is a good thing! You want to fill up on protein-rich foods to stay satisfied & help prevent overeating. Opt for meats that have been grilled rather than deep-fried. My favorites – turkey legs from Turkey-to-Go, kabobs from Minnekabob, grass-fed beef from French Meadow Bakery & Cafe. I’ve also found shrimp-on-a-stick and other grilled meats on a stick, you just have to keep your eyes open!
Simply Nuts & More: Their booth is in the Warner Coliseum and features mixed nuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, and the like. These are a great snacky option that will give you a punch of protein and healthy fats!
All of these options are quite a bit healthier than your typical fair foods. Pictured below are some of mine & Maddie’s picks from last year. We split all of these – sweet potato tacos, Kimchi poutine (AMAZING, not healthy, but amazing), and a turkey leg!
Other healthy tips:
Plan Ahead: you’re already a step ahead by reading this blog post, but you can explore ALL the food options that will be at the fair by clicking here. You can go as far as planning your day’s menu!
Sharing is caring: split your state fair indulgences with a friend.
Get those steps in: i’m not an advocate for “working off” unhealthy choices because you just can’t out-exercise an unhealthy diet, BUT it is still important to get some movement in every day. There’s no better place to do that than at the fair because it’s HUGE and you have to walk everywhere you go.
Be adventurous: Truth be told – there are definitely things to do at the fair that don’t involve eating. Explore those options on the Minnesota State Fair website!
Don’t fret: Maybe you do decide to go all out and eat ALL the greasy things at the fair. THAT’S OKAY. Just make better choices the day after. One “off” day won’t totally ruin your goals unless you let it.
Oh, and Sweet Martha’s Cookies area no-brainer at the State Fair. Treat yo self – it only comes once a year!