Fan-tastic Food Options at the Ballpark

Healthy eating at the ballpark can be a challenge. Most concession stand menus are packed with fried foods and sugary snacks. Here's how to beat the odds.

Chowing down at the ballpark

Like many people, you're probably looking forward to attending a few baseball games this summer. You might also be anticipating enjoying a few items from the concession stand while you watch the game.

Or maybe you're participating in some of these games. Battling through tough rally-from-behind victories and doubleheaders can leave you hungry and wanting something quick. (Sound familiar? See Attention Ballplayers: During a Doubleheader, Meals Are Twice as Important.)

It's no secret that healthy eating at the ballpark can be a challenge. The traditional concession stand menu is packed with fried food and sugary snacks. However, you can navigate healthy eating at almost any ballpark and still choose tasty options.

Little League, Travel Ball and High School Games

I remember working the concession stand at the ballpark while my brother played baseball. The highlight of my evening wasn't how well he played, but the snow cones and tubs of buttery popcorn I doled out.

Choosing healthier options is hardest at Little League, travel ball and high school games. However, you can usually find a grilled chicken sandwich, and sometimes even a salad. Plus, there are always low- and no-calorie drink options available such as water and iced tea. (Want help? Bring a Dietitian to The Ball Game: Kait's Concession Stand Pick & Pass.)

It's best to come prepared though, because you never know what will be available at the concession stands or how long a game might last.

Portable snacks that can withstand the heat

  • Nuts (like pistachios)
  • Fresh fruit (in-season)
  • Dried fruit
  • Nutrition bars

Major League Games

Options are more plentiful at major league ballparks throughout the country. From full-service restaurants to quick-serve stands, you shouldn't have a problem making healthy selections.

Walk past the hot dog and popcorn stands. You will usually find healthy items besides a grilled chicken sandwich. Many professional ballparks have full concession stands and even restaurants that serve fish, deli sandwiches, fresh salads, fruit and made-to-order burritos.

Several stadiums now carry Wonderful Pistachios, the original flavor and two new flavors (sweet chili and salt & pepper). Pistachios provide a healthy, fun-to-crack snack that you can feel good about eating without sacrificing taste or flavor. (Learn more about the health benefits of pistachios in 16 Nuts and Seeds You Should Be Eating.)

If you're craving something sweet, order a kid-sized cup of frozen yogurt or sorbet.

It's entirely possible to eat healthy and stay on track in any ballpark. It just takes a little pre-planning and/or walking.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock