Healthy Eats at the Theme Park

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

Between the cotton candy and ice cream carts at every turn, baskets of chips and fries drowning in nacho cheese, and plenty of deep-fried surprises on a stick, eating at an amusement park or carnival can seem like one long, unhealthy ride. But you can keep your diet from spiraling downward at breakneck speed with a little scouting and some prep. Here’s how to stick with healthy eats while at the theme park.

Stop and scan menus. As you’re making your way through the park, scout out the dining options. A place that offers burgers and hot dogs may also have a grilled chicken sandwich, veggie kabob or salad option, or offer corn on the cob instead of fries. Note the places with healthier fare so you can head back when it’s time for lunch or dinner.

Pack snacks. Whether you plan to spend only a few hours or the full day, toss some small grab-and-go munchies in your bag to help hold you over between meals and avoid the temptation of a pre-lunch ice cream or giant soft pretzel. Good snack options include granola bars, fruit or baggies of nuts.

Drink water. Especially if it’s hot and you’re sweating, you need to replenish fluids. But super-sized, calorie-packed, sugary options are not the way. If you like a little flavor, buy one fruit drink and splash some in your water, saving the rest for your refills.

Savor treats. If you look forward to the funnel cake, or the kids really want ice cream, get it—but not as soon as you get to the carnival or park, and not while you’re walking along. Focus on the rides and fun first, and when it’s time to indulge, sit down and really enjoy it.