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Question: How can I eat healthy at the Iowa State Fair (if I want to)?

Iowa State Fair

The Iowa State Fair is known for its livestock, rides, entertainment, exhibits and incredible food. But for those who are keeping tabs on their health, there are delicious, healthy eating options available too – and some of them may surprise you.

Fairgoers seeking healthier fare can rely on the Iowa State Fair’s food finder app and on its website that lists options for fewer calories.

“We used criteria established by Iowa State University, who contacted the vendors and asked for the calories, total fat, sugars, saturated fat and sodium content for food. The main dish has to be less than 600 calories, and a side dish must have fewer than 300 calories, both with only 25 percent of the calories from total fat and less than 10 percent of the calories from saturated fat, to qualify for the list,” said Mindy Williamson, marketing director for the Iowa State Fair.

Some of the food items starring on the list include baked potato, corn on the cob, salad on a stick, caramel apple slices, carrots with ranch dressing, watermelon, fruit on a stick, a grilled chicken sandwich, grilled turkey sandwich, peanut butter and jelly on a stick, pork chop on a stick, salads, wraps, shrimp corndogs, veggie corndogs and a slice of margarita pizza.

“One of our biggest fair favorites is the pork chop on a stick. The Iowa Pork Producers sell thousands of them, and they’re high in protein,” Williamson said.

There are 26 new foods debuting at the 2016 fair. One of those three also is on the fair’s healthy food list: the "Not Your Mamma's Taco" from the Turkey Grill.

“The hardboiled egg on a stick from the Iowa Egg Council also is a good source of protein, a fair favorite and easy to take around. They go through thousands and thousands of eggs feeding fairgoers," Williamson said.

Danley-Greiner is a freelance writer from Runnells.

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