The Wayne County Fair is in full swing. The sights, the sounds, and smells make this a favorite annual event. The people, the animals, and the attractions all add to the flavor of the county fair.
Nothing quite pleases the taste buds like the food at the fair. The variety ranges from BBQ chicken to deep-fried cheesecake. Even broccoli is gobbled up when it is battered and fried. An annual favorite is the grilled pork sandwich, which happens to be one of the healthier items to eat while at the fair.
The pork steak is a 4-ounce lean pork medallion. Add a few fresh tomato slices to the bun, and it becomes part of a walking balanced meal. With a small dab of BBQ sauce, this sandwich is a very low fat, low salt entrée. In the language of diabetes meal planning, it translates into two bread exchanges, four meat servings, and the tomatoes are free items. A very wise choice as far as fair food goes.
A group of teenagers exited the fairgrounds for a short time only to return with food purchased outside the gates of the fair. When asked why they were eating local fast food instead of enjoying the novelty of fair favorites, they replied that they wanted to eat what they were used to eating. For some people, food trucks are the most enjoyable aspect of the fair. For others, the lack of familiar preferences is a disadvantage. Eating choices are a matter of personal selection.
Strolling the fairgrounds, the food stands offer a multitude of edible choices. Eating healthy with certain disease states demands discipline and compliance. The decision to enhance or hinder health is an individual conclusion. Eating choices are a matter of personal selection.
Dining choices are all around. A fun part of the fair is to choose the most pleasant sensation to the taste buds. Food choices often are determined by the length of the line. If the line is several minutes long, just watching fellow diners and anticipating the flavorful delight of the first bite is part of the experience. Eating choices are a matter of personal selection.
A stranger approached a local health professional munching on a bag of kettle corn and interrogated her concerning the long sleeve of candied popcorn that wrapped around her knee as she walked. A pointed finger demanded to know if the snack was part of a healthy diet. The nurse replied, “You bettcha, I chose to eat a few giant handfuls instead of the entire 3-foot bag of this crunchy sweet treat.”
Walking for hours around the fairgrounds burns up calories. If you choose an apple dumpling with ice cream or a tray of fries remember to choose to stroll more. Being active is an acceptable excuse to consume a few additional calories.
Going to a county fair is all about making choices. For many people, their biggest dilemma is deciding which food trailer will get their business. Eating choices are a matter of personal selection.
Bobbie Randall is a registered, licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator in Wooster, Ohio. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.