The Minnesota State Fair is not exactly the first place you go if you are planning on eating healthy food. After all, the great Minnesota get together is notorious for its greasy, artery clogging fried food, most of which consist of some type of fatty food adhered to a stick. The ____ on a stick allows you to eat at all times, including during shows, parades, shopping or anywhere else. Many people come to the Minnesota State Fair for the food and food alone-they might not enjoy the crowds or the games or the shows, but give them a bucket of Sweet Martha’s cookies or any other variety of unhealthy Minnesota State Fair food, and they’ll be happy. So what do you do if you want to attend the Minnesota State Fair but you’re on a diet? Starve? Fortunately, I have learned through the years that there are opportunities for eating healthy food at the MN State Fair if you know where to look. Listed here are some ideas for those planning on eating healthy food at the Minnesota State Fair this year. And believe it or not, they are as tasty (if not tastier) than the regular greasy Minnesota State Fair food, and they won’t give you a heart attack or acid reflux!
This may not be exactly what you expected to see listed for eating healthy food at the MN State Fair, but bear with me. Every year, thousands of MN State Fair visitors fail to match their water intake to the amount of sodium laden food they’re eating (not to mention all the buckets of sweat on hot days) and end up getting dehydrated. You can buy bottled water at most stands in the MN State Fair, or can purchase it really cheap right outside the Minnesota State Fair, either on Snelling or at parking areas and bus stops. There are always people trying to make a profit off of guests who haven’t yet entered the MN State Fair or are just leaving. They have learned that water sells quickly, especially if it is under $2 a bottle.
If you are sick of bottled water but want something to drink other than pop, you should stop by the all you can drink milk stand. It is not only one of the healthier options at the MN State Fair, it is also economical, at only $1 for all the milk you can drink (although overdoing it wouldn’t be very healthy either!)
3. Corn on the Cob
This is a popular choice at the MN State Fair, which isn’t surprising considering how much butter people slather on their corn. Just ask for it without butter and if you need salt, only sprinkle a little bit (you may get some curious glances from the staff or MN State Fair visitors). Corn on the cob works well for dinner, as it is both filling and nutritious. You can find it up front by the Grandstand.
4. The Lamb Shoppe
The Lamb Shoppe is located in the food building of the Minnesota State Fair. It is a great option for eating healthy food, because the lamb can be served in small portions and cooked without grease, not to mention that it is grass-fed and organic.
5. Small Ice Cream Cone
This is your dessert option if you are planning on eating healthy food at the MN State Fair. The small or kid size ice cream cone is similar to one you’d get at Dairy Queen in size, taste, price, and nutrition. Not the healthiest thing every, but compared to other Minnesota State Fair food, it isn’t half bad. You can get small ice cream cones at any stand that serves ice cream or sundaes. Try the homemade ice cream cone, it is creamy and delicious!
6. Andre’s Watermelon Stand
Watermelon is a great option for eating healthy food because it fulfills you fruit requirement and is the most refreshing Minnesota State Fair food.
7. Fruit/Veggie Platters
The fruit and vegetable trays are a good choice for healthy Minnesota State Fair food. They are usually on the pricey side though-typically $5-6 for a tray. Then again, a lot of food at the MN State Fair is even more expensive. If you’re planning on eating healthy food, skip the dips no matter how tempting they may be.
Okay, they’re not that healthy-the sodium content is atrocious. But they make a healthier snack than, say, cheese curds, and there are almost no calories. You can get giant pickles and kool-aid pickles at several stands all over the Minnesota State Fair.
9. Olives on a Stick
Hooray! Eating healthy food on a stick is possible after all! Yes, a little known stand in the bazaar offers an assortment of olives on a stick, and unlike every other Minnesota State Fair food on a stick, the olives are not fried or battered.
The apples sold at the Agriculture building are healthy and cheap at only a quarter per apple! This is an even healthier and more economical option for eating healthy food at the MN State Fair than the milk stand. You can pick your own apples from a number of varieties, most of which are grown locally and/or are organic.
In the end, the best option for eating healthy food at the MN State Fair is not eating Minnesota State Fair food at all, and just brown-bagging it, or waiting until your MN State Fair visit is over before grabbing dinner. You could also consider splitting your favorite Minnesota State Fair food with a friend-I usually get the bloomin’ onion and share with four friends, which comes out to only $1.50 per person, and fewer than 1,000 calories per person! But these other options for eating healthy food will tide you over if you’re really hungry and refuse to give in to the temptation of fried snickers on a stick.