State Fair Food…Yes, It IS possible to eat healthy.

That State Fair is just around the corner and it is filled with seventeen days of food and fun. So let’s talk about the food, which is one of the main reasons people attend the State Fair. Some people have their favorite stops and some people like to go for the most exotic, obscure food they can find. Sure, the State Fair is known for its greasy, fatty, and fried food but I think you can ALWAYS find a lighter side to anything.

Here are a couple of tips on how to eat a bit healthier at the fair:

Enjoy at least one indulgence. Part of the allure of a fair is the specialty foods, so don’t deprive yourself.

Don’t arrive starving. You might think you are ‘saving’ calories by not eating all day so you can splurge at the fair. But you will end up eating more than if you would have eaten a small snack beforehand.

Keep things small by sharing with your friends. An easy way to try out fun carnival food without going overboard is to split dishes with your friends.

There ARE healhy options at the fair.

Choose healthy when you can. Not all fair food is bad, but some is definitely better than others. Look for grilled items instead. Grilled corn on the cob, meat kabobs, and barbecue turkey legs are available at most fairs. I know at the Dairy Bar they are serving cottage cheese  and milk which is low fat and packed with nutrition.

Know what you are eating! Believe it or not if you eat horrible one day, it’s not the end of the world. You can eat a little less the next day and make sure you get in some physical activity. But you have to at least know you consumed too many calories in order to ‘fix’ it. Here are the approximate calories of some common fair food:

  • Turkey leg the size of a small baby: 1,050 calories
  • Krispy Kreme burger: About 1,500 calories
  • Cup of fries: 600 calories
  • Funnel cake: 600 calories
  • Pulled pork sandwich: 350 to 400 calories
  • Corn dog: 300 calories
  • Grilled chicken: 300 calories
  • Chicken kebab: 250 calories
  • 1 piece fudge: 150 calories
  • Bag of cotton candy: 150 calories
  • Frozen banana with chocolate: 150 calories
  • Corn on the cob: 50 calories; with butter, 150 calories

The fair is and always will be about food, but you can also focus on creating special memories with your family.

Sweet, sweet, sweet corn

By Diane Ruyack

Corn on the cob has other names such as “pole corn”, “cornstick”, “sweet pole”, “butter-pop” or “long maize”. The ear is picked while the endosperm is in the “milk stage” so that the kernels are still tender. Ears of corn are steamed or boiled, usually without their green husks, or roasted with them.

Just before cooking, husk the corn, pull off the silky threads, and cut out any blemishes with a pointed knife. Drop the corn into a large pot filled with boiling salted water. Cover the pot and let the water return to a boil again, then turn off the heat and keep the pot covered. After about 5 minutes, remove enough ears for a first serving. You can keep the remaining corn warm in the water for another 10 minutes without its becoming tough. Serve with lots of butter and salt.

Another option is to microwave the corn. Again, you can shuck before of after cooking. If you shuck first, wrap the ears in damp paper towels, and put them in the microwave. Cook them on high until you smell the corn, which will be 6 to 9 minutes for a few ears or 12 to 14 minutes for a half-dozen ears. You should turn them around about halfway through. If you’re shucking after cooking, use a dish towel or oven mitts to protect your hands from the heat as you shuck.

You can also grill corn. And guess what? It can be in the husk or out of it. For a milder flavor, soak the corn in husks in cold water for at least a half hour. Put them on a hot grill, turn them every couple of minutes, and and cook until they’re evenly heated on all sides, which can take anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes. Again, the silks will come off more easily after cooking. If you husk first, you’ll get a much more intense grilled-corn flavor, and will want to grill the ears for 5 to 7 minutes, turning them occasionally to expose all surfaces to the heat.

Dill Butter

1/4 cup  Butter, softened

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Italian Butter

1/4 cup  Butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves

Parmesan Butter

1 stick of butter

½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

½ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to coat corn before grilling

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Dairy Princess Legacy

Guest Post By Indiana Dairy Princess Elles Niessen

My Indiana Dairy Princess legacy is coming to an end. There were three main goals I wanted to accomplish as Indiana’s Dairy Princess including: educating the public, supporting the facts and getting rid of the myths, and experiencing the dairy industry from a different perspective through the different experiences Milk Promotion Services of Indiana staff had planned for me. Summarizing my legacy and legend as the Indiana Dairy Princess, I have had many opportunities in educating the public. By attending the various activities planned by MPSI staff and sponsored by Indiana’s Dairy farmers, I have clarified things like:  Farming is nothing like pharmacy…There is no such thing as boy cows and girl cows…Cows are all girls and bulls are boys…Baby cows do not come out of the udder…and organic milk is not any better for you than non-organic milk – there is just a difference of how the production affects the environment. I have also gone over the steps of recycling and why we spread the manure on fields, and of course I have had to be professional when dealing with individuals who support PETA.

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It’s Picnic Time – Remember Food Safety!

By DeDe Hausmann

Nothing’s better in the summer than enjoying a picnic with family and friends.   Picnic at the park, on the beach, or even in your own back yard but if picnic foods are not handled safely you are inviting foodborne illnesses to the occasion!

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Make Your Child Obesity-Proof!

Guest Post By Paula Gustafson, MD

We have all heard the alarming news about childhood obesity: almost one in five of our school-aged children and teens are obese.  Even more are overweight. But did you know that this obesity epidemic affects our infants and toddlers too!

I’m a board-certified pediatrician at Major Pediatrics in Shelbyville, Indiana and mother of 5 grown children. I have both a professional and a personal interest in this epidemic, especially in how to stop it and reverse it.

You don’t have to be a doctor to know that becoming overweight and obese doesn’t occur just as a child starts school.  It starts very early in life in the home.  That’s where you come in.  Together we can PREVENT this from happening by starting our children out on the right path to a healthy lifestyle.  It’s easy and can be done by anyone. Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday: Take Me Out to the Ball Park!

Buttercup had a great time last night at Indiana’s Family of Farmers’ Family Night at the Ball Park with the Indianapolis Indians!

She met all kinds of little fans!


And even some fans with fans!