Eat Smart and Move More at the Fair

— Written By Ashley McRae and last updated by
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It’s time for the fair! Did you miss it too? Just thinking about the anticipation of being next in line for a long-awaited smoked turkey leg or funnel cake makes me smile from ear to ear! Aside from indulgent foods, the fair brings about thoughts of family and, of course, fun. Children are already designating days for the family to attend, and parents are preparing to provide their children with the ultimate fair experience.

The fair also provides us an opportunity to practice one of the concepts taught in the Adult Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) called “Eat Smart, Move More.” Most times, when we attend the fair we normally gravitate towards those deep-fried and over-the-top delicacies. Granted, we all enjoy over-indulging, it is okay to have these things on occasion. However, we must also consider most of these foods contain increased levels of saturated fat and high amounts of sugar.

One way to remedy this is to “Eat Smart” by choosing grilled foods instead of fried. Some vendors offer tropical beverages made with fresh fruits and others offer bottled water (which is often more affordable). Enjoy a good collard wrap? Try skipping the corn fritter, and ask for a cup of collards with your favorite chow-chow topping. Another good option would be trying out some flavorful street corn; most times the corn has been purchased from local farmers.

After we have eaten, we often sit for a while and take in the scenery. By this time, we are a little comatose from the feast we had; this would be the perfect chance for you to “Move More.”  Before returning to the festivities, take a moment to stretch and set your step counter. That’s right, use this as a time to get those daily steps in! You would be amazed by how much distance you cover just by walking the fairgrounds. Be sure to have some water handy to keep you hydrated as you make your rounds to various exhibits and rides. As you are taking your walk, you will notice the fair has games that promote moving more. Take your shot at playing a few rounds of basketball, or test your strength by using the mallet to hit the bell. Sometimes the fair may also offer wall climbing as an activity.

All of these things considered, we must bear in mind the fair is an outdoor event, so be sure to come prepared. Wear shoes that are comfortable and suitable for walking. Pay attention to the weather forecast so you are prepared for inclement weather (rain or intense heat). Pack any necessities that will keep you and your family safe as we continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines. Above all, come prepared to have a wonderful time!

For more information, contact Ashley McRae, Extension Adult Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Assistant with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, or by email at Ashley_McRae@ncsu.edu.