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Our guide to eating healthy(er) with kids at the Ohio State Fair

Our guide to eating healthy(er) with kids at the Ohio State Fair

Jack McLaughlin

When the Ohio State Fair rolls around every year, we parents are faced with a critical dilemma: How do we indulge in the fair food that we love while maintaining  a relatively healthy diet for our little ones.

Relative is an operative word here, since very little available at the fair is going to rival organic kale or free-range chicken breast in terms of healthiness. But if you know where to look, you can actually get pretty close.

Roasted Corn

Someway or another, corn snuck its way into a lineup of deep-fried Oreos and funnel cakes. And we’re all for it. Roasted corn is delicious, and comes without the massive amounts of sodium present in almost every other fair dish.

Smoothies/Lemon Shakes 

While sugar is what you’ll want to keep an eye on with these, real fruit is rarely a bad bet. Check out Kayla’s Key West Smoothies for a wide variety of flavors, or one of the several vendors selling lemon shakes, which resembles something like frozen lemonade.


(Freshly) Fried Bluegill

While the fishing pond at the Ohio State Fair no longer allows visitors to fry what they catch on-sight, the ODNR is still offering pieces of battered-and-fried-right-betore-your-eyes bluegill that’s just about as fresh.

DeLuca’s Italian Cuisine

While it’s no baked chicken breast, this classic Italian vendor still stands out in a sea of corn dogs and elephant ears. If you’re not feeling even more fried food, go for a garden salad or one of several made to order pasta dishes.

Follow the Farms

The Ohio State Fair has always been linked to agriculture, so it only makes sense that local meat purveyors have a spot among its vendors. And while a pork or pork loin sandwich aren’t the pinnacle of health, getting one from a small Ohio farmer like Holbrook Farms really makes a difference. And isn’t it nice to know where your kids’ food comes from?

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new July issue here!


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