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Fair Food: A Dangerous Summer Pastime

Home/Carmen Kirkman, You Matter - Voices/Fair Food: A Dangerous Summer Pastime

One of my favorite things to do during the summer often gets me in trouble. It’s the reason many of my attire choices include a stretchy fabric of some sort.

Oh sure, I may make excuses for my clothing choices by saying I’m just increasing my potential maternity wardrobe (for two or three years down the line when I may have another child), or that I need comfort clothing for chasing after a vivacious toddler. But that’s a lie.

I have to confess here and now. The real reason I have to have stretchy clothes? I LOVE fair food. Cinco de Mayo festival? I’m there! Rose Festival? Score!! Turkey Rama? Count me in!!! State Fair? I’m going broke!!!!

A fantastic list of great fair food

Caramel corn, kettle corn, bento, teriyaki chicken on a stick, elephant ears, noodles, corn dogs, onion rings, fried-anything-on a stick, fudge, funnel cakes, shaved ice, ice cream, cotton candy, caramel apples, gyros, bacon-wrapped hot dog, chili fries, hamburgers, ribs, Belgian waffles, nachos, lemonade. You name it, I’ve probably gorged myself on it. Well, except onion rings. I can’t get over the worm-like texture of the onion inside.

That list, my friend, is why Lycra is my best friend. Literally, Lycra has my back, my front, and juuuuust barely, my sides.

Fairs are my kryptonite

But I am trying to turn over a new leaf. Fairs are my kryptonite, so I’m trying to stay away. Emphasis on trying. Although I cannot refuse to attend Turkey Rama. It’s a local tradition that I just can’t bypass, even though I may need a bypass as a result of my attendance. So, I’ll have to be strong.

I’m really trying to eat healthier snacks. The caveat is, though, the healthier snacks need to taste good. Not just for me, but I want my son to have healthy snacks on an ongoing basis. And in my experience, healthy doesn’t matter to kids (or adults) unless it tastes good.

Tasty and healthy snacks

So, in my research, I have found some great ideas on tasty and healthy snacks that I will be incorporating into my diet. Of course, I’ll have to get rid of the greasy, delicious potato chips.


  • Fresh fruit such as raspberries or strawberries. I’ve heard blueberries are great, too, but they remind me of Violet on Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, and that weirds me out. Also, I don’t like the way they taste.
  • Air popped popcorn. According to the Mayo Clinic, 3 ½ cups of the air popped variety have only 100 calories. Of course, that means no added butter, salt, or cheese. Sorry. Actually, popcorn is really good by itself; you just have to give it a try.
  • Awwwww, nuts! These are great sources of protein, which means they will make you feel fuller for longer. They can be higher in fat, but it’s the healthy kind. They can also be high in calories, so don’t eat the whole jar. Mmmmmm …… pistachios.
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as cheese or yogurt. Great for calcium, which is good for my bones, but yogurt especially can have a lot of sugar. So watch out for that. I recently discovered that the high sugar content in my beloved Greek yogurt. So it’s an occasional treat now.
  • Eat your vegetables!! Okay, I had to say it. Don’t fry ‘em. And they lose their nutritional value when they are smothered in creamy, fatty, ranch dip. Hummus is a great alternative. Or, just a bit of the fat free ranch.
  • Edamame – they are soybeans and they are delicious. I had amazing spicy edamame at a sushi restaurant in Tennessee once and it was fantastic, and I’ve never been able to duplicate it at home. But that hasn’t stopped me from trying!
  • Cottage cheese and tomato – my husband prefers pineapple, but I’m the only crazy person I know that does not like pineapple. But cherry tomatoes and cottage cheese, I love, with just a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Avocado – for me, avocado is like Tapatio. It’s good on pretty much everything. In fact, Avocado AND Tapatio together – yum! My world is rocked.

Your turn!  What are your healthy snack ideas?

Seriously, this time. I need your help. I must have some healthier snack ideas for me and my family. Fried snickers just will not be accepted any longer. What are your healthy snack ideas?? Please, share with the class!!