CLEVELAND – Opening Day at the ballpark is a dream for baseball fans and foodies alike.
But partaking in the fanfare can become a bit problematic for those who are trying to keep up healthy habits.
However, it is possible to avoid the temptation of greasy ballpark favorites – it just takes a little planning.
“Before you go, you want to make sure that you’ve had something to eat, so you’re not starving when you get there,” said Lindsay Malone, RD of Cleveland Clinic. “You want to have something with protein; fiber, probably some sort of produce to help fill you up.”
It’s also important to have a thirst-quenching plan, as sometimes the easiest diet mistake to make comes in a cup.
“Try not to drink your calories; if you can, stick with water;” said Malone. “If you want to have a beer – for women one beer, for men, up to two would be considered moderate drinking. Choose something you enjoy, but remember, the lighter beer is certainly going to have fewer calories.”
There is some nutritional value in at least one ballpark favorite – a bag of peanuts. Peanuts in the shell are even better, because Malone said having to break open each shell makes them harder to overeat.
And for folks planning to enjoy a meal at the stadium, there are more options today than ever before – just think outside the box – or bun.
“Stay away from the fried foods, and think about lean protein, and vegetables,” said Malone. “Items like tacos are more common at the ballpark now, as are grilled chicken sandwiches. These can really help limit the unhealthy fats and overeating that you might normally have with a trip to the ballpark.”
Malone said there’s good news for people who lose track of their calories at the ballpark, because there are plenty of opportunities to get some steps in and work them off.
She also reminds people to keep in mind that if they overdo it on Opening Day – it’s just one day; it won’t derail the entire season. Just be sure to get back on track with healthy choices the next day.