Thursday, June 28, 2012

Reach for these food choices at the Ballpark...

It's baseball season and fans are flocking to the stadium to catch a game and make some memories. This can be a great time to bond with the family but many of us reach for a few hot dogs and sugary snacks to share. Are there healthier options? Yes! Many parks are adding healthier options to the menu to appeal to a broader range of people and tastes. Some national parks are now stocking grilled veggie wraps, Comerica is serving up sushi, and "infield greens" are available at Coors Field. There's also smarter choices on some of the regular "ball park" foods as well.

I'll take you on a brief ball park tour coming up next!

1) Don't skip the peanuts. Not only are these the star of the menu at the ball park, but those little shelled guys also pack some protein punch and are rich in fiber. A standard serving is about 1 once and raves only 160 calories and 7 grams of protein per serving.

2) Pick up some popcorn. Popcorn contains polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant, in the hull. The only drawback is that you need to skip the layers of salt and drowning it in butter to reap the benefits.

3) Choose your corn. Some ballparks are now bragging that they serve corn on a stick or even in the husk for fans. Sweet corn can be low in fat but be careful because loading up on corn can spike your blood sugar and cause unhealthy weight gain.

4) Reach for baked potatoes rather than cheese smothered fries. Baked potatoes have a healthy amount of B6 and Vitamin C packed in the spud and aren't smothered with grease or slathered with cheese and ketchup like fries.

5) Grab a brew with your buds. Beer does have some health benefits in small quantities but hold off on downing more than one glass at the game. Moderation is the key for beer connoisseurs and some parks may offer gluten free options as well. Opt for water after your brew for a healthier alternative and less of a hangover the next day.

6) Scoop up a single scoop. While ice cream is packed with fat and calories, a small amount can do your body good and satisfy the cool in the heat of the game. Better yet, get it in a cup and share with your fellow fans to spread the satisfaction. Look for frozen yogurt or even greek yogurt alternatives over the regular scoops.

7) Frequent the fruit cup. Some ballparks offer fruit cups instead of fries which can be a great alternative. However be wary on letting kids indulge in more than one as the fruit is usually steeped in a sugary syrup.

8) Go Greek! Instead of loading up on chips, reach for hummus and pita chips which have a great taste and are packed with goodness. Add a little salt and pepper for some kick and serve up a healthier snack.

9) Hydrate instead. Grab a bottled water instead of a sugary soda to keep you hydrated and to keep your blood sugar balanced during the game and the heat. Opt for water when you can while the sun is beating down.

Need more tips? Contact your local ball park to find out local healthy options or to find out if you'd be able to bring in a cooler of healthier options for the family. Another great idea is to find out about group deck rates since catering healthier options may be a great way to find more fans to party with and to share the check as well.