BLOOMSBURG FAIRGROUNDS -- Many look forward to the Bloomsburg Fair to indulge in some of their favorite foods. But you don't have to blow your diet and you don't have to avoid the fair altogether. There are healthy food choices if you know where to look.
While enjoying the Bloomsburg Fair this week, we met up with Ashley Reese, a registered dietician with Geisinger Health System. She knows the fair is notorious for foods that are deep-fried, full of sugar, or both.
But she scouted out some healthy choices for us, and we followed her lead in our healthy food quest.
up first? As delicious as it looks, a gyro doesn't exactly make the cut. Reese says the meat used to make it is not a lean cut and quite high in fat. But at this "John the Greek" stand, the place where you get a gyro?
"They have a chicken option! And they have kebabs, which are grilled or roasted instead of fried," said Reese.
Some may even offer a Greek salad. Healthy choice one.
Up next, Ashley points out the sweet corn. Just be careful with the butter!
"Sweet corn is probably a better option at the fair. If you're not that hungry, or you want to satisfy that savory craving, one ear of corn has about 100, 200 calories and provides 10 percent of your daily fiber needs, really a good option at the fair," said Reese.
As for those turkey legs? Not the worst choice, but watch out for the word "jumbo." Ashley says each of these turkey legs has about 1,200 calories, roughly the same as a funnel cake.
Another stand that caught Ashley's eye is a spot where you can find a bison, turkey, or chicken burger and this vendor is one of the only ones here brave enough to post nutritional information!
Our expert says these counts are a little low, but still in the ballpark, and each of these meats will be healthier than the traditional 80-20 beef burger you'd typically find.
Ashley also gives high marks to a nice bowl of steaming, filling soup.
"Even though you can't control what's going into it, you're guaranteed some vegetables, it's homemade, probably about 150, 250 calories for a cup, a better option than a lot of things you'll find here."
Lastly? Let's talk about dessert. The fresh fruit cup is going to be your best bet, for a lot of reasons. Ashley says even a bit of chocolate-covered fruit isn't so bad. Or, there's frozen yogurt. Calorie-wise, not a huge savings from ice cream but the difference is the lack of cream, so Ashley says you'll save yourself saturated fat.
In general, Ashley recommends having a plan to fill up on healthier items, then having a bite or two of a splurge.
"Having that plan before you come makes you more likely to succeed and less likely to cave to those impulse choices."
And another good tip overall is simply to share.
Ashley wants to remind you that a few bites of, say, funnel cake is a lot different than eating an entire funnel cake. The key is to share so as to not overindulge.