5 Ways to Save Money and Eat Healthy at the Ballpark this Summer
Just tonight my family and I headed out to catch a baseball game together. Navigating a sporting event with four kids can be tricky for many reasons, but then when snacks come in, you're apt to break the bank and will probably find it hard to stay away from all those non-real-food treats.
While I try not to impose crazy limitations on what my kids consume when we're at special events, I do want to steer them into making healthy decisions whenever possible. Here are a few tips for eating healthier and more frugally at sports games with your whole family that won't make you feel like you're missing out on the experience.
- Eat before you leave. While you don't have to rule out snacks completely, eating a decent meal full of vegetables and lean proteins before you head to the game will help the sweet and fat cravings once you're there. Plus, you won't have to drop the astronomical dollar amount a number of times over for each family member purchasing hot dogs or burgers at the stadium. Instead, enjoy one or two snacks the whole family can share.
- Avoid the candy. Stay away from cotton candy and boxed treats. Not only are they expensive, you're only paying for food dyes, sugar and artificial flavorings. Just say no and look for other great finger foods like...
- Peanuts and popcorn. Peanuts and popcorn are often staples at games, but they are also usually relatively frugal options, too. One or two bags can satisfy the crowd and take quite a while to eat, and opting for no extra butter on your popcorn can make it a more responsible snack that the kids and adults will enjoy and be excited about.
- Look for the smaller stands. Many stadiums and ballparks have started offering healthier choices and more eclectic fare. At Target Field where my family was this evening, there were several options for those opting out of the nachos and cheese sauce including fruit bowls, vegetables and dip, Asian fare, soups, sorbet and more.
- Bring in your own food. Check your stadium's policy. Can you bring your own? Some ballparks allow you to carry food into the area as long as it is consumed in your seat or is in sealed containers. Check before you go and bring your own snacks for the ultimate in healthy eating and savings.
Do you plan to take in any sporting events with your family this summer?