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Being Healthy at the NC State Fair!

Posted By Diquan Edmonds, North Carolina Recreation and Park Association, Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday, October 17th


It’s finally State Fair time! If you did not know, the North Carolina State fair opened up in Raleigh on October 13th. The fair is a glorious display of everything North Carolina has to offer, and people from around the whole state come to the capital to partake in the festivities. A very unique cuisine can be found at the fair, including everything you can possibly imagine deep fried. This got me thinking about the wellness initiative, and how your program field trips to the fair, local carnivals, or amusement parks can encourage your communities to stay healthy.

One way to avoid overeating at a fair is to eat before you go. This prevents fairgoers from arriving with an empty stomach and huge appetite. I would suggest eating something healthy and filling before entering the fair, so that the not so healthy fair options aren’t as tempting.

Grazing on a variety of foods rather than eating the whole portion can also be useful tactic for fair eating. The Wisconsin State Fair holds a “Crazy Grazin’ Day” where they offer smaller portions of food for less money. Although our NC State Fair doesn’t hold a grazing day, you can take this idea and apply it to your own fair experience. Instead of eating the entire funnel cake, share it with your group! If your department holds a festival with food, this could be a good idea to implement.This not only allows you to eat less, but it affords the opportunity to try a variety of different foods.

There are also a variety of State Fair foods that are delicious and not as bad for you. Try replacing some of the unhealthy fair foods with healthier ones. Evergreen Health wrote a great article outlining some of these food swaps, and I thought I would share some of them with you.


“Unhealthy Food”

“Healthier Substitute”

Funnel Cake

Caramel Apple

Turkey Leg

Chicken or Steak Kabobs

Bloomin’ Onion

Roasted Corn on the Cob

Fried Snickers Bar

Saltwater Taffy

Ice Cream Sundae

Frozen Chocolate Banana


Another way to stay healthy at the fair is to increase your walking throughout the day. Try parking further away and walking into the fair. Although it may not seem like a lot, the extra walking can help burn calories. Parking further away can also save the stress on your wallet, as cheaper and even free parking options require you to walk. Walking will also be achieved inside of the fair grounds. Take a few laps around the fair before deciding which activities to do. This tactic will allow you to stake out the can’t miss activities and vendor locations, while also adding valuable steps to your trip.

Personally, my all-time favorite fair food are deep fried oreos. I know that I can only have this food at most once a year at the State fair, so I afford myself the chance. This brings me to my next tip: think about the food you want to try ahead of time. According to a WebMD article , the number one problem with fair food is mindless eating. If you must have unhealthy food at the fair, thinking about it ahead of time and zeroing in on it can help avoid this mindless eating. This will allow you to think strategically about your food choices, and cut out the unnecessary calories.

I hope that these tactics can help you and your programs at the state fair, local fairs and festivals, and amusement parks. If you are heading to Raleigh for the fair this year, I wish you luck and the willpower to make healthy choices!

Until next time,


Tags:  CRPA Wellness  ellness  ellness bulletin  ncrpa  ncrpa wellness  wellness  Wellness bulletin 

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