A trip to Disney, Six Flags, or your favorite amusement park or county fair doesn't have to be a health detriment. Follow these simple guidelines and food suggestions for a fun, flavor-filled day.
Weight loss scale
Credit: Lee Harrelson

If you're planning a summer trip to Disney, Six Flags, or even your local county fair, you know the rides and sights are great, but the food choices aren't always so thrilling.

Use these strategies for the healthiest dining experience:

  1. Walk the entire park or fairgrounds to check out all the options before making your final food decision (plus you're burning extra calories as you walk).
  2. Choose small portions when possible or share your treat with a friend.
  3. Try to balance your high-fat favorites with healthier food choices throughout the day.
  4. Sit down when you eat for both mealtimes and snacks so you can pay attention to your body's "full" cues and stop when you're satisfied.

Try some of these healthier options when dining:

  1. Roasted corn on the cob (skip the butter) instead of fries.
  2. Frozen chocolate dipped banana instead of a double dipper ice cream cone.
  3. Grilled chicken sandwich instead of a burger or fried chicken sandwich.
  4. Peanuts or roasted pecans split with a friend.
  5. Water instead of soda or a slushie.

If you can't resist that funnel cake then don't try to avoid if you are going to feel deprived and end up eating too many other things in your effort to resist it.

Instead, plan ahead. Purchase it, and share it with several friends while you sit down and watch the parade of people go by. Eat every bite slowly so you don't miss the experience. When you and your friends are done, get back up and get on the move again.

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Tammy Beasley, RD, CSSD, CEDRD is a registered, licensed dietitian, spinning instructor, and certified specialist in sports nutrition and eating disorders. She is the author of Rev It Up-The Lifestyle Diet That Puts You In The Driver's Seat.