Take Me Out To the Ballgame...for Some Fruit?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Last weekend, my family decided to go to a baseball game. The game started at 1:00, and when I asked my husband what he wanted to do about lunch, he asked "Can't we just eat there?" Ugh. The idea of my daughter eating nachos or a hot dog for lunch was not very appealing. So I packed her a lunch that I knew she'd like, and she ate it on the way to the stadium. When we arrived, my husband asked what I wanted to eat. "Something that's not too terrible would be good," I replied. He ended up bringing me back a "veggie dog" which honestly, tasted more like rubber than anything else. But under the circumstances, it was probably the best he could come up with.

Although we didn't find much variety at the few stands we checked out in our stadium, other Major League baseball stadiums (like the Yankees and Mets) are offering a healthier option for their patrons- fresh fruit. Of course the fruit, like all other baseball park food, is expensive. But it's a nice alternative for those who aren't interested in a greasy burger and fries.

One complaint about the fruit stands is that they don't offer locally grown produce. But according to the company who runs the stands, that could change. The stands seem to be popular, too: The Yankees and Mets sell about 200 pounds of produce during each game.

In all fairness, my family didn't do an extensive search when looking for food at our local stadium. My husband browsed a few booths and tried to pick from limited options. So if our stadium offers healthy fare, we just weren't aware of it.

What do you do when you go places like a baseball game? Do you eat before you go? Choose something there? Pack a snack? Are there healthy options at the stadiums in your area?

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Wow, if only we could bring drinks into Nationals Park here in DC. Water in clear plastic is it. We typically look on a visit to Nationals Park as a full-fledged family outing, complete with Italian sausages with mustard and peppers, and a beer for we of legal age. It is the only way to attend live baseball. So ... I fast a bit beforehand. Don't recall seeing fruit stands in Nationals Park. Perhaps the Mets can bring it with them next time and leave their bats at home. Go Nats! Report
I'm a Tigers season ticket holder. We have fresh fruit options, as well as a veggie/hummus plate, veggie pita, and a sushi stand. Report
It's part of our date night to eat before the game, if we can squeeze it in however, I enjoy popcorn and normally purchase peanuts and a drink at the games. I pack my own water as one bottle is never enough for as long as the games are. I've seen a group bring in a cooler with fruit and vegetables which made the others ashamed of how and what they were eating. I'd love fruit, if it's available! It's all for love of the game! Go Cards! Report
I am an avid Yankees fan. I was at the new stadium several times last year, and they do post calorie contents (I think it's a state law). A large tub of popcorn was over 2,000 calories I think. Funny, I don't remember seeing produce for sale. I will have to keep it in mind. Yankee Stadium does allow you to bring unopened bottles of water and some degree of food in, so that helps keep the cost down. If I am going to have a hot dog, I usually have it outside, where it is a lot cheaper.

Go Yanks - let's see #28 in 2010!!! Report
In St. Louis you are allowed to bring in outside food and drinks, so long as the drinks are in plastic bottles. And if using a cooler, it has to be a soft sided one. You could bring in McDonalds if you wanted to. Report
For years, when I went to games at Fenway, I would have one hot dog and one $3 Coke throughout the whole game. Then, I'd go to Lansdowne and have a piece of fried dough. Now, I live in Washington State and Safeco has so many food options it can actually be a pleasure to eat there. Sure, I probably won't be indulging in the garlic fries any more, but there's sushi and shishkaberries (chocolate dipped strawberries and/or bananas) to be shared! Report
My family eats before we go ANYWHERE. That way you aren't going somewhere starving and therefore more likely to eat what you shouldn't. Plus I always have healthy snacks in my purse, nuts, raisins, dried fruit or gum. Report
Hubby and I went to the last Detroit Tigers game this year. He laughed at me when I said I wished they sold fruit. I can't wait to show him this blog, HeeHee Report
Our stadium doesn't allow bags to be carried in - even purses. Those that are allowed are searched and any cans, bottles, cups, etc. are confiscated. Outside food is not allowed - even for most of the employees. The local college now has a new football stadium as well as the Vikings so who knows what the new rules are with the season just starting, a new security service and new stadiums. Report
WOW! 200 pounds of produce per game!?!?! Maybe other places will begin to realize that they should offer more healthy options. Report
I usually try to eat before I go anywhere and take my own snacks with me. Although I have to admit, sometimes I give into the temptations of foods I don't always eat, like nachos, but at least I've eaten something healthy first so I don't fill up on them. Report
I just had a light bulb moment while reading this blog. I love baseball and never thought twice about having a hot dog and a beer at a game. (I cringe at the price but I love the whole baseball scene.) I know it not great for me but I figured it is just a part of the game. Now I will think twice and walk a little further to find something better to eat at a game. Report
I haven't been to a game since Komisky Park was still in Chicago. But even then we brought our own pop and pretzels. I would sneak an apple or banana in my pocket with a bottled water. Report
Eat before & after......Ball park meals are just insane in price.....$5.00 hot dog is not my idea of a good meal, and wayyy overpriced.....I love the Yankees, just not their food prices or choices!! Lets not forget the $10.00 a bottle beer!! Report
Eat before we go, not because the food is so unhealthy but because its SO expensive! Report
The only reason to go to a baseball game is to eat peanuts - protein and heart healthy oils, right?

I usually try to avoid concession stands at events like this, but more for the expense than the health factors. (Although I do have a big objection to buying sodas because they're nutritionally empty and full of sugar!) We're most likely to buy something like popcorn at college sports events. It's not like my family goes to a game every single day - or even every week, so the food would be a rare splurge.

All that said, I went to an Orioles game last year while visiting Baltimore, and one of my mail goals was to get a crab cake and/or crab soup! I didn't care about calories... Report
I eat before and after I go or bring food with me to eat there. I don't enjoy eating a bunch of fried junk, it kills my stomach! Report
I was surprised to find that Dodger Dogs are not laden with calories, it may not be the healthiest choice around, but its certainly better than things like nachos and such. I know ahead when I am going to the game so I indulge while cutting back elsewhere on my other meals (eathing more veggies, etc) (since my diet isnt about withholding anything "unhealthy"). Report
I dont go to ballgames or anything but if i did i would def eat before i got and like pack a bannana or apple or something just in case Report
Generally when I go to any sporting event, I eat a large salad before the game....really helps passing on the not so healthy fare offererd at stadiums. Report
We eat before we go. 1) I don't care for the food and 2) it is sooooo expensive. Report
It's sad when American's are forced to purchase food & drinks at an expensive sporting event. The monoply controlled stadiums should be boycotted. How do you tell children that going to see a "game" where major players are paid umpteen $$$$ is just to expensive for a family to enjoy? Fans are paying for tickets, why not allow carry-in foods? Try telling a child x's 3 they can't each have a 4-bite $6.00 hot dog. Anyone willing to pay stadium food prices needs to rethink their priorities. Report
Our ball park allows small soft sided coolers, so I take water bottles, my own peanuts, carrot sticks and other healthy snacks. I allow myself one staduim snack during the game but because of calories and cost I really limit what I consume. Plus I only go to maybe 2 games per year. Report
When I visited Citifield (Mets) this summer, I was pleasantly surprised to find a "veggie" burger option! I believe it was a Gardenburger.

I am bracing myself for Yankee stadium this weekend, and will look at your link so I can be prepared. Report
We recently attended a Cardinal's game in St. Louis. I was amazed to see they offered stir-fry with your choice of veggies and/or meat! Of course this was located on a limited access food area, but still - impressive. Report
I don't see anything wrong with something like a hotdog once in a while, but where I live in the tri-state area (NY-NJ-CT), it's the expense that's stopped me from buying food in places like stadiums, zoos, movie theatres, etc. You practically have to take out a second mortgage just to get a slice of pizza. My husband & I have been bringing our own snacks for many years now, resulting in healthier choices by default. Although I'd love to see healthier food at these venues, I have no doubt they'd charge even more for it. Report
I have not been to a ballgame since I have started losing weight, but when I do go the next time, I am going to let myself have what I want, and quite honestly, the last thing I want at the stadium is the same fruit or yogurt I eat the rest of the time. The food is a big part of the fun for me when I go to the stadium and going is to rare a treat for me to only enjoy it halfway over one blown day in a longterm diet. Report
I can't bring myself to eat stadium food. If I saw them selling fruit at my local ballpark I'd probably fall over in surprise. So I eat ahead of time, it also helps save money for more important and lasting things- like the hat/jersey/pennant. Report
We usually eat before the game or after, it's way to expensive in the ball parks. But we do get our water (which are expensive too) and/or soda, you know how it is when you have children. Report
For me its basketball, since I have season tickets for the Seattle Storm (WNBA). I used to eat before the game or starve until afterward, but this year we finally found the stand that sells real food. They make chicken or turkey sandwiches or wraps right there. Now, I'm not fooling myself that they're low calorie, but they're much closer to real food than the hot dogs, fries, nachos, and chicken fingers. They're not even outrageously expensive. I get a bottle of water (which is very expensive - $3) and a sandwich for $10. Now if only they'd throw more than 3 baby carrots in there with the sandwich. I would love to have fruit as an option! Report
It's not just the stadiums that are guilty of not offering healthy alternatives. Movie theaters are equally at fault. It's bad enough that the prices are outrageously over-inflated, but I wouldn't mind that so much if I had the option of buying fresh fruit, nuts or yogurt instead of junk. How about some Clif Bars or Luna Bars instead of candy bars? I think those would sell just as well.

I usually bring trail mix and have a hot dog and a diet pepsi at the ballgame. Sometimes, I have one of those delicious pretzels w/mustard and i'm full. Going to a ball game is a treat as I don't often go. Report
I agree with the concept of the game foods being cost prohibitive.

The fact that I make good money is irrelevant. While I agree that it feels almost ''appropriate'' to have nachos, beer and a hotdog at the game, why am I going to pay $7.00 for a $2.00 beer? I think it's simply a question of cost vs. value. To me, it's not worth it. To someone else, it may well be, but I simply cannot justify the expense for the experience.

But, betwixt you and me, I will admit, there's nothing like a hotdog, smothered in chili and draped in a layer of French's mustard, a bowl of fresh, crisp tortilla chips with a robust side of nacho cheese sauce (that way, the chips stay crisp to the last) and a huge Coke to wash it all down while you enjoy the game. (^_^) Report
I admit I can't go to a game without having a ball park hot dog and a bag of peanuts to share. I will usually eat before I go and preplan what I am going to eat. Helps if you put it in SP before you go so you know your calorie count etc. Take me out to the ballgame...... Report
My boyfriend goes *crazy* at ballgames buying expensive and fatty foods. Hot dogs and beer, hamburgers, sausage, chips, cotton candy. Still, he bought me a tangerine when we went to the last Mets game. It was expensive, but we both actually enjoyed it. They had lots of salads and yogurt too at the little food market. The veggie quesadilla was delicious too Report
I go to our local minor league park and usually buy their 3 dollar bottles of water and share a bag of popcorn or nuts among ourselves. That is the best available that I have been able to find. Report
I am much to frugal to spend money on the high price snacks they have at such a place. I read that a family of 4 can expect to pay up to $135 to go to a baseball game in Atlanta. No way! Even when we go to DISNEY WORLD, I pack a cooler and we go back out to the car to have lunch. Report
A little of what you fancy does you good!! Report
If I am going to a ballgame you can bet that I am going to plan into my diet the hotdogs, peanuts, nachos and beer. After all it is not like I get to go all the time and what fun is life if you can't indulge once and awhile. Report
The only place I really go like that is the movie theatre and I eat before I go usually and I have snuck in grapes before. I figure if they said anything I will just tell them they should offer grapes. I don't really go to ballgames. The only other place I've been that's somewhat similar is a Nascar race and they will let you bring things in but that was before I started eating healthier so I just brought in water. Report
Going to Fenway is too expensive for us, so we usually hit the minor league games (Portland Sea Dogs or the Lowell Spinners) once a season or so. Since we go only infrequently, we do often indulge in the ballpark fare. It's usually a dog, a burger, or a slice of pizza with one drink and one dessert (an ice cream sandwich, a popcorn, or what-have-you) for each one of us. We have four kids, so it gets pretty expensive. Some parks let you bring in food and drink; others don't. The ones that don't tend to do bag checks, so unless you're really lucky, your stuff would get confiscated.

We do a lot of amusement parks (prolly 4x a year, which I consider "a lot"), and we usually eat at the park, because they rarely let you bring your own food. That's definitely how they make their money!

My husband and I see several rock concerts a year, and we usually eat at the concert. The concert fare now usually includes fresh fruit, which is expensive, but so are the other options at the food stands! We have definitely tried it, and it is worth the $$. We have been to concerts at Fenway (ironic that we haven't seen a Red Sox game there, though), and they also serve fresh fruit. I am partial to the popcorn and soft pretzels, so it's definitely not something I do on a regular basis. My hubby tends to be big on getting the food he craves at these events. It's definitely a challenge!
At ball games I either eat ahead of time and plan for a snack like popcorn or a beer, or I plan to have a splurge meal and eat ligher throughout the day. My local ball park does at least have a grilled chicken sandwich to offer, and a couple of the stands have salad. I'd love to see a fruit stand, though. Report
I usually eat before I go and treat myself to a beer there. I'd rather splurge on a beer than on greasy foods. I'm going to a game tonight and will check to see if there are any healthy options at the stadium. I'm curious now. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! Report
We only go to 3 or 4 games per year, so I don't think it's a big deal to have a pretzel or nachos at a game. We almost never go out to eat, so this is an occasional splurge for me. I drink water--much as they cost because I can't stand the idea of the additional calories from an alcoholic beverage or coke. Report
So what did your daughter have for lunch? Do tell!
Can't you sneak in your own fruit? Just pack it in your purse. Report
Wow! You folks are good! I represent the other half that says, "this ballgrame is a super treat and a trip back on memory lane". Part of the "event" is eating one of the ballgame hotdogs and nibbling out of a bag of peanuts- all from the ballpark. It is such a special treat that I chalk it up to one of those days and try to get back on track the next day. Report
Normally we pack healthy snacks and luckily allowed to take them in the stadium (local AAA team). If we do purchase snacks at the game, it normally is only peanuts. Report
I have a snack before I leave and usually have something at the game. We don't go very often, but I'm more aware of what I eat. Now I don't have some of everything, but 1 or 2 items, so I'm not going overboard. Report
I attend a lot of hockey games and almost always eat before I get there (or on rare occasions after). I have one friend who always buys peanuts and shares but other than that I don't eat much stadium food. Report
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