Amusement Parks

More Summer Strategies

I have spent way too time over the last couple of years with my children at amusements parks.

They love them in all shapes and sizes from local state fairs to Catholic Church festivals to biggest one of all, Disney World. We have waited for the Zipper, ridden the giant coasters and taken a trip to Space Mountain.

Now, the details of the parks might vary depending on location and scope, but the health traps can be similar, as they are everywhere.

1) Stay hydrated. Not only will this help you survive the parades, watching your child go through twenty dollars of tokens to win another stuffed animal, the sensory overload can make for some crazy intense headaches if we are not careful.

Water tends to be expensive once inside, and most places will let you bring in an empty water bottle and you can always fill it up inside the parks. I strongly discourage consuming juices, soda alcohol or anything that ends in “accino” it will only make you feel worse and more crabby.

2) Eat real food, or as close as you can get to real food. In an ideal world, everywhere I would go there would be perfectly seasoned whole vegetables and organically locally sourced fish.

Back to Realityland, you have to do the best you can in the situation. I have been known to look at the pre-made salad on iceberg with the sad chicken breast, and order a cheese burger with a side of grilled onions. Before you scream, know I toss the bun and eat the burger with a fork or have it wrapped in lettuce, if possible. The combination of fat and protein will fill me up so I am not tempted to gnaw on a turkey leg or an ice cream sandwich the size of my head. Stay away from the tan food group i.e. chicken strips, fries and pizza. There is no nutrition and they are all chock full of empty calories and chemicals.

3) Go for the best of the worst. Giant soft pretzels are a better choice than popcorn, not a great choice in general, but not as toxic. Ice cream is a better choice than a snow cone, only because the fat will slow down the absorption and a snow cone is full of chemicals.

Go for a funnel cake over a cupcake because a funnel cake you can only get at an amusement park, while cupcakes are a pretty ordinary find. Now, none of these are decisions I would recommend in anywhere else but at an amusement park, fair or a festival, but when in Rome right?

Amusement parks, State Fairs and Festivals are special Summer treats, and thankfully we do have to eat there more than once in a blue moon. Have fun, and try to remember to pick the best of the worst food choices and if two choices look to be the same amount of awful, go with the one you can only get then. The State Fair Funnel Cakes with jam dipping sauce should trump a regular old white vanilla cupcake, but neither one should be a mainstay in anyone’s diet.

Drink plenty of water, reapply sunscreen and have fun!

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